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Purses Are Going Up At Cal-Expo
Monday, June 23, 2008 - by Scott Ehrlich, Publicity -- Cal-Expo

With the racing at Cal-Expo moving in an upward trend, a purse increase was in order as The California Exposition & State Fair (Cal-Expo) proudly announced that effective July 3, through August 2, 2008, there will be a ten percent increase in purses for all classes.

"We are delighted to be able to provide the ten percent purse increase,” said Dave Elliott, Assistant General Manager for The California Exposition & State Fair and Director of Racing. “Additionally, we will provide a fifty dollar starter bonus for all horses not earning a purse check effective June 12, through August 2, 2008. These programs will be paid for by the current underpayment of purses, which is approximately $92,725 as of June 14 of this year.

The California Exposition & State Fair, who took over the operation of the harness meet on March 2 after the Sacramento Harness Association ceased its operations, will break for harness racing from August 3 through September 11, with the standardbreds returning to race on September 12 through December 20. During the break, fans can enjoy the State Fair from August 15 through September 1, which includes live thoroughbred and mixed breed racing, which returns to the State Fair from August 20 through September 1.

With 2009 not being too far around the corner, considerations are being discussed about harness racing at Cal-Expo for the upcoming year.

“The Cal-Expo Board of Directors will address an item on the June Board meeting agenda as to whether or not Cal-Expo will continue to operate the harness racing meeting in 2009,” stated Elliott. "I will not speak for the Board of Directors, but we have had some success at operating the harness racing meet and I do not know of any reason at this point why the Board of Directors would not want to continue to operate the meet in all of 2009 and beyond. I believe our General Manager and Board will continue to support the industry as long as the horsemen wish to continue racing at Cal-Expo, and since the horsemen have supported the meet very well since we began operating, I don’t see that as an issue.”

With the spring-summer meet ending on an upswing, Elliott was optimistic about that trend continuing for the fall meet.

“Cal-Expo Management and the California Harness Horsemen’s Association (CHHA) are currently discussing various incentive programs for horsemen that we will hopefully be able to announce soon. They are: 1-Starter bonuses for all racehorses. 2-Late Closer Series’, and 3-New Horse Incentives. The horsemen have earned it,” Elliott concluded.