FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Three days of horse racing remain at this year’s Big Fresno Fair.
But with the closure of the Bay Area’s Golden Gate fields in June, the home base for the majority of Big Fresno Fair, and California fair circuit horses, some might wonder, “What comes next?”
The executive director of the California Authority of Racing Fairs, or CARF, says racing at fairs around the state will continue.
However, new homes will have to be found for roughly 1,100 horses.
“We gotta move the horses over to one of the fairs, replace Golden Gate with one of them. So, we have like three major fairs. We’ve got Pleasanton, we got Santa Rosa, and we got Cal Expo in the north. Any one of those three could replace Golden Gate,” said Larry Swartzlander, executive director of CARF.
While this year’s fair racing schedule will run as planned, some changes could come in 2024.
That’s when CARF’s new racing association ‘Capitol Racing’ takes over.
One change could be the addition of more races to places like Fresno.
“That’s a possibility since all the dates are controlled by Capitol Racing,” said Swartzlander. “You know we could allocate an additional week in Fresno if we think it’s necessary or beneficial.”
While nothing is set in stone as of now, one veteran of the yearly races at the Big Fresno Fair says he would definitely be open to it.
“Yeah, as something just to do, yeah it’d be fun. I mean, you know, it’s the only kind of gambling we’ve got around here right now. Other than going up to the casinos. It’s fun to watch the horses,” said Fresno resident Steve Zamora.