DEL MAR — There was an atmosphere of guarded optimism during the monthly meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association (San Diego County Fairgrounds) held Dec. 9.
General Manager Tim Fennell said he was always an optimist when he reported that attendance at the annual Holiday of Lights now being presented nightly through Jan. 4 was up 9 percent over last year.
George Bradvica, Surfside Race Place manager, said attendance and wagering at the satellite wagering facility were on par with the previous season and noted that betting at tracks nationwide was down 10 percent. He said he is looking forward to the opening of Santa Anita in Arcadia the day after Christmas. He recalled that a year ago conditions were dismal when 27 days of racing were cancelled due to the track condition. Rains created havoc with a new track surface that has since been replaced. It came through with flying colors during the two-day Breeders Cup program held in October.