by Winston Chua
ARCADIA – MI Developments founder and Chairman Frank Stronach and Oak Tree Racing havereached a verbal agreement to provide Oak Tree Racing a one-year lease agreement for 2010.
It is a position that for most of Tuesday’s California Horse Racing Board he refused to budge on. However, in thelong run, he does not believe a lease agreement with Oak Tree Racing is in the best interests of Santa Anita Park.
The Board tried to pin down what exactly had been going wrong with the negotiations between Oak Tree and Santa Anita that essentially began in early June; and it was not until the very end of the agenda item that Stronach offered the olive branch to Oak Tree.
The Board tried to make sense of why no tenant for this year, would make better sense in the short and long run than one tenant would, as Stronach had been contending.
Chairman and board members Keith Brackpool, David Israel, Jerry Moss and Bo Derek for much of the discussion were puzzled by MI Development’s stance on leaving Santa Anita empty.
Hollywood Park and Del Mar may be options for Oak Tree next year, and Chillingworth thanked them for their cooperation. He mentioned also that the City of Arcadia will be helped by Oak Tree’s presence at Santa Anita.
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