Acting on the suggestion of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) that consideration be given to racing Thursday afternoon instead of at night, Oak Tree decided to move post time on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 7:05 p.m. to 1 p.m.
When Hollywood Park begins its 31-day Autumn meet on Thursday, Nov. 4, post time will also be 7:05 p.m. There will be day racing Friday, Nov. 5 in conjunction with the first of two Breeders’ Cup programs from Churchill Downs.
Hollywood Park’s opening night features a post-race concert by the extremely popular reggae band Steel Pulse.
“We believe there is a need for tracks to continue to experiment with night racing in that racing may not be able to continue to put on its show when most people work,’’ said Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “While attendance on Thursday nights has been higher than Thursday afternoons, it was not as high as we hoped it would be.
“We believe that with adequate time for promotion, which was not available for this Oak Tree meet, night racing will prove to be successful.’’
Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree’s director and executive vice-president, said he was receptive to the TOC’s suggestion.
“We experimented with Thursday night racing to encourage attendance by a new, younger fan base,’’ said Chillingworth. “It takes time to make the public aware of a change such as this and, unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated.’’