Del Mar, Oak Tree officials meet about hosting races locally

By City News Service

Officials with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club met Wednesday with the Oak Tree Racing Association about possibly bringing its thoroughbred horse race meeting to the San Diego area track in the near future.

“Oak Tree wants to come down here,” Joe Harper, chief executive officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, said after the meeting. “We want them down here.”

Ultimately, the decision will be made by the California Horse Racing Board, he said.

“They are the ones that say when and where these meets happen,” Harper said.

Harper said he doesn’t know how soon the Oak Tree could come to Del Mar. He also said it’s unknown when the California Horse Racing Board will consider the issue.

“Obviously, we want to sit down with the racing board,” Harper said.

Among the issues discussed during today’s meeting were environmental concerns, because the Del Mar racetrack lies within the state’s coastal zone, he said.

The Oak Tree meeting has been held in the fall at Santa Anita Park since 1969. This year, it is being held at Hollywood Park.