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California State Fair to host Harness Racing
Thursday, March 24, 2005 - by Nicole Kraft

Harness racing has a home in Sacramento through the end of 2005, as the California Horse Racing Board today approved a bid by the State Exposition to conduct harness dates during the California State Fair.

The California Exposition, better known as Cal Expo, will operate the harness meet from July 31 through Sept. 17, with State Fair racing held Aug, 12 through Sept. 5. The Sacramento Harness Association would assume control of the meet to run Sept. 23 through Dec. 18.

Director of racing for the fair meet will be Dave Elliott, who got his start in California racing as a horseman. He said the fair session will guarantee purses $60,000 a night in purses over a minimum of 26 live racing dates.

“This will allow the harness horsemen to participate in Sacramento on a year round basis,” said Elliott of the plan. “It will also enable the harness people to race their horses in front of crowds, since we do one million people [in racing attendance] during state fair. We want to provide exposure of sport in the Sacramento market during fair time.”

The CHRB will reconvene at the end of the year to address the allocation of dates for 2006.