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Get ready for an off-track horse racing showdown at Hollywood Park

On Tuesday morning, the California Horse Racing Board will hold its monthly meeting at Hollywood Park, and seats could be hard to find because there's a showdown brewing between the racing board and Frank Stronach, the chairman of MI Developments that runs Santa Anita.

Stronach is supposed to address the CHRB and discuss a number of issues, such as a future business model for racing, what surface Santa Anita will have and whether there's any chance the Oak Tree Racing Assn. will be able to hold its annual meeting at the Arcadia track.

But don't look for the CHRB commissioners to be intimidated or receptive to Stronach's demands. They've had enough of his antics, based on comments at the last CHRB meeting. So it could be quite entertaining, with trainers and owners in attendance.

As for Santa Anita's surface, track President George Haines said MI Developments has sent representatives to Argentina and Spain to look at dirt tracks. Santa Anita currently has a synthetic surface.

"It's going to be a dirt track," Haines said.

But because of cost and timing, when the track surface will be replaced is unclear.

-- Eric Sondheimer

 
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