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Breeders' Cup

Horse Racing: California can't afford to let its horses get away

Horse Racing: California can't afford to let its horses get away

The numbers are startling, the reality is staggering.

If California's first-class horse racing tracks are to survive, they are in large part dependent on a third-place breeding program.

A track such as Santa Anita needs inventory, and if it didn't have California breds running, it probably would be racing only two days a week. Under that scenario, it wouldn't be long before the track would be turned into a residential or retail development. Or a sports stadium.

Doug Burge, president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Assn., took up the challenge of figuring out a way to essentially bribe people to breed, buy and race here. "We have these carrots we put out...

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