CHRB Names 45 Forum Participants
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 2/15/2008 7:07:44 PM
Last Updated: 2/17/2008 2:28:48 PM

There are 45 experts confirmed as panelists for a special California Horse Racing Board forum to discuss synthetic track surfaces Feb. 20 at Santa Anita Park.

Separate panels are scheduled to be represented by jockeys, synthetic track manufacturers and and experts, trainers, track maintenance supervisors, veterinarians, racing secretaries, horse owners, horse players and handicappers and race track operators.
 
The wide ranging meeting, announced earlier this week, is to begin at approximately 10 a.m. in the Baldwin Terrace Room and will be webcast through a link on the CHRB Web site, www.chrb.ca.gov.

“We have scheduled this special meeting in part to review our track surfaces,” said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro in announcing the forum.

It comes after Santa Anita lost 11 days of racing over the past several weeks due to problems with its newly installed Cushion Track. The surface was altered to allow improved drainage Feb. 3-8, and the track has returned to its regular schedule.

“Clearly, with the situation that has developed at Santa Anita, and much that has been written about the board’s mandate, it seems logical and appropriate to pause and see where we are today, what we know today, and what we should be looking for or doing differently in the future,” Shapiro said. “The meeting is to review where we are, identify concerns, discuss solutions, get the facts to date, improve communications, and create collaborative efforts."

Four engineered surfaces have been installed at California racetracks since the board issued a mandate requiring synthetic tracks at all venues operating four or more weeks of continuous Thoroughbred racing.

Here is the list of those participating in the forum, as of Feb. 17.

Jockeys: Terry Meyocks (Jockeys' Guild manager), Garrett Gomez, Aaron Gryder, David Flores, Gary Stevens (possibly Russell Baze and Victor Espinoza as well);
 
Manufacturers and Experts: Michael Dickinson, Jim Pendergest, Paul Harper, Dr. J.P. Bardet;
 
Trainers: Richard Mandella, Bob Baffert, John Shirreffs, Doug O’Neill, Eoin Harty, David Hofmans, Ed Halpern (California Thoroughbred Trainers), John Sadler, Ed Moger (possibly Mike Harrington and Ron Ellis);
 
Track Maintenance: Richard Tedesco, Dennis Moore, Juan Meza, Steve Woods;
 
Veterinarians: Dr. Rick Arthur, Dr. Susan Stover, Dr. Gregory Ferraro, Dr. Joe Dowd, Dr. Kim Kuhlman, Dr. Diane Isbell, Dr. Jeff Blea;

Racing Secretaries: Sean Greely, Tom Robbins, Mike Harlow, Rick Hammerle;
 
Horse Owners: Drew Couto, Marsha Naify, J. Paul Reddam;
 
Horseplayers/Handicappers: James Quinn, Brad Free, Bruno De Julio;

Track Operators: Ron Charles, Robert Hartman, Peter Tunney, Eual Wyatt, Craig Fravel, Joe Harper.            


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