Greg Risling

Pincay Powers Hollywood Park Curtain-Closer

After months of worry over the potential for power loss because of a statewide electricity crisis, Hollywood Park was energized by an exciting conclusion to its spring-summer meet Monday thanks to tight races for the jockey and trainer titles. Laffit Pincay Jr. edged Alex Solis in the race for leading jockey, while Jack Carava nipped Bob Baffert in the trainers' race.

Pincay Powers Hollywood Park Curtain-Closer

After months of worry over the potential for power loss because of a statewide electricity crisis, Hollywood Park was energized by an exciting conclusion to its spring-summer meet Monday thanks to tight races for the jockey and trainer titles. Laffit Pincay Jr. edged Alex Solis in the race for leading jockey, while Jack Carava nipped Bob Baffert in the trainers' race.

Del Mar Looks to Entertainment to Lure Customers

The 43-day meet, which this year begins Wednesday, July 18, is often considered the jewel of California racing. One of the selling points of Del Mar is that it's nestled along the coastline with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. But management said atmosphere really hasn't been enough to lure big crowds.

Advertising on Silks on Meeting Agenda

The California Horse Racing Board is scheduled July 19 to consider a proposal that has been dormant for several months but which could provide an incentive to horse owners and jockeys -- advertisements on silks.

Hollywood Park Turns Out the Lights to Save Energy

Faced with the possibility of the lights going dark this summer, management planned ahead and purchased four back-up generators to ensure rolling blackouts don't affect operations. But the energy crisis has already come at a cost...The power crisis also prompted Hollywood to bump up its start time on Fridays from 7:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Running lights at night would be too costly considering electricity prices will be increased up to 46% by this summer. The move could result in a drop in on-track attendance.

CTBA Looks to Legislation, Industry Improvements

Drive-through windows at simulcasting facilities and wagering from home are just some of the ideas on the table of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. In addition, the CTBA hopes racing-related legislation passes this year.

Lights Out For Hollywood Park's Friday Night Racing

Hollywood Park plans to move its Friday night racing to the afternoons to cope with the state's ongoing power crisis. Post time for the first Friday night, April 20, will start at its traditional 7:15 p.m. But the post time for the remaining 12 Fridays during the track's spring meet will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Trainer Comatose as Police Pursue Beating Leads; Track Offers Reward

Police are looking for four people in connection with the beating of California Quarter Horse trainer Robert Gilbert seen leaving the same casino where Gilbert had just won several thousand dollars. Lt. Mike Idom said Gilbert had dropped off a horse in the area and was at the casino for about 13 hours before leaving about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Quarter Horse Trainer Critical As a Result of Beating

Quarter-horse trainer Robert Gilbert remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday for injuries he suffered when he was attacked at Los Alamitos race track in California. Gilbert, 56, was found badly beaten early Wednesday morning in front of an area where trainers park their trailers.

Santa Anita Report: Go Go's Got the Beat

A couple of hours after Santa Anita honored trainer Noble Threewitt on the occasion of his 90th birthday, 79-year-young Warren Stute provided the icing on the cake when he captured the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 24 as Go Go punched by the favored La Feminn.

Magna Outlines Bi-Coastal Series Details

The complicated details of a bicoastal series designed to generate more fans and boost field size at two Magna-owned tracks were announced Friday at a press conference. Now, track officials need to schedule a series of classes so people understand it.

California Considers Stiffer Claiming Rules

Santa Anita Park racing secretary Mike Harlow has noticed a trend for several years, and it doesn't bode well for California's Thoroughbred industry. Harlow said California horses are being claimed by out-of-state trainers who have them shipped elsewhere when a meet concludes. As a solution to the problem, Harlow and other racing secretaries have asked the California Horse Racing Board to amend a rule so that any claimed

Surfside Likely Favorite in Santa Maria

Surfside is the probable morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade I Santa Maria Handicap run at 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is hoping for good weather and a fast track after Surfside's third place finish as the odds-on favorite in her last start on a "wet-fast" track. Sunday's forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain.

Housing Inspections Now Part of Licensing Process in California

California tracks will have their backstretch housing inspected if they want a license to conduct a horse racing meeting from the California Horse Racing Board. The state's racing board is nearing completion of an amendment to its license application that would require tracks to pass the inspection before the meet is approved. The new regulation is primarily due to a sweep last summer by state inspectors who found backstretch workers often live in substandard conditions.

Two Plead Guilty to Break-In at Antley's Home

Two men pleaded guilty Friday to breaking into the house of late jockey Chris Antley, who died last month from an accidental drug overdose. Antley's friend, Timothy Tyler Jr., 24, and Jeffrey Robert Jones, 22, pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of trespassing. They were charged with one count of first-degree residential burglary but because no one was living in the house at the time, the felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Two Arraigned in Alleged Extortion Attempt on Stevens

Two brothers accused of attempting to extort money from jockey Gary Stevens pleaded not guilty to criminal charges Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mark Frankel, 25, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and his 29-year-old brother, Adam Frankel of Encino have been charged with extortion and conspiracy. They are free on $35,000 bail. Their next scheduled court hearing is Feb. 26.

Hollywood Park Ready to Battle Energy Crisis

The three major tracks in Southern California have acknowledged a need for backup generators in light of the possibility of power blackouts, but Hollywood Park is prepared to invest $4 million in equipment to ensure the facility doesn't go dark. Rolling blackouts brought on the by the state's energy crisis forced Los Alamitos to switch to afternoon racing for a couple of programs last week.

Union Questions Clerk Reductions at Santa Anita

A decision to reduce the number of pari-mutuel clerks at Santa Anita racetrack has angered union leaders, who say the cutback is having a ripple effect on the industry's labor work force in Southern California. For the first time in more than a decade, there are less than 100 clerks taking bets at Santa Anita during the week. There are somewhere between 85-90 clerks during the week about 200 clerks manning betting windows on the busier weekend days.

Stevens' Ride in '95 Derby Played Role in Extortion Attempt

Two brothers who allegedly tried to extort $200,000 from jockey Gary Stevens are scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday, authorities said. Mark Frankel, 25, of Sherman Oaks and his 29-year-old brother, Adam Frankel, of Encino were arrested and booked last month on suspicion of extortion and conspiracy. Although the case hasn't been filed with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, investigators said the suspects' arraignment will occur Wednesday in an Inglewood courtroom.

Santa Anita Braces For Possible Power Outage

Santa Anita officials said racing wouldn't stop, although the tote boards would be shut down, if the track faced a power outage. The wagering information, which is controlled by computers, wouldn't be lost. Furer said there are about 22 tote machines that could be up and running during a blackout. Escalators and elevators would be immediately turned off before the blackout to ensure no one gets hurt or trapped. The track is equipped with an emergency generator that would provide lighting.

Council Members Meet with Stronach on Santa Anita Development

Two Arcadia city council members met with Santa Anita racetrack owner Frank Stronach this past week and shared their concerns about his expansion plans. Although only some specifics about the plan were discussed, Arcadia Mayor Gary Kovacic and Councilman Mickey Segal said the meeting couldn't have gone any better.

Santa Anita Management Warns of Possible Layoffs

The president of Santa Anita cautioned Tuesday that downsizing and possible layoffs may occur at the Arcadia, Calif. track, which was purchased by his boss, Frank Stronach, two years ago. Only on the job for two weeks, Jack Liebau said that Stronach's company, Magna Entertainment, is re- evaluating operations at its seven racetracks across the United States. Liebau issued a one-page memo to Santa Anita employees last Thursday alerting them to potential future changes.

California Board Delays Approval of Advertising Plan

A proposal to allow advertisements on jockeys' and horses' equipment is having a hard time getting off the ground in California. The trial project has received support among owners', jockeys and some racetracks but the California Horse Racing Board delayed making the needed changes at its meeting Friday.

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