As a new year begins and live racing continues at Aqueduct Racetrack, a host of capital improvements are under way at Belmont Park in preparation for the upcoming spring meet. Live racing returns to Belmont April 29.
On the final Sunday morning of the 2013 Keeneland spring meet, there was still plenty of activity on the Keeneland backstretch. read blog
Tucked inside Barn 7 on the chilly backstretch of Beulah Park is a miracle and perhaps Thoroughbred racing's best kept secret. read blog
Beyond the Blinkers captured Kentucky Oaks favorite Joyful Victory as she entered the track May 4. Read Blog
A backstretch improvement program has begun at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, which will spend up to $10 million over the next 10 years to build new barns, refurbish old ones, and make other barn-area upgrades.
The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust has given the New York-based Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T) a $40,000 grant that will make it possible for backstretch workers to have on-site dental services at Saratoga Race Course in 2008, it was announced March 1.
At an annual board meeting June 2, Thoroughbred Charities of America approved grants of $1,564,400 to 149 non-profits in the charitable work of Thoroughbred Rescue, Research, Backstretch, Education and Therapeutic Riding, in 28 states.
The New York Racing Association, in cooperation with the Backstretch Employees Services Team, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Schenectady Family Health Services, has opened a backstretch clinic to help address the health needs of backstretch workers at Saratoga Race Course.
In an attempt to head off a backstretch union movement before it gains momentum, California trainers have formed a group called the "Employee Education Association" to tackle the issue.
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.
No appointees sprung out of the woodwork at the California Horse Racing Board's meeting Wednesday in Sacramento. That left Golden Gate Fields on hold.
California Gov. Gray Davis' veto of legislation that would have authorized account wagering and backstretch unionization is a major setback for the state's pari-mutuel industry.
Backstretch security will be heightened at the upcoming fall meeting at Keeneland, a track unique to American racing in that the stable area is open to the public and not restricted to licensed personnel and approved visitors.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- California Gov. Gray Davis will be doing the right thing by signing the account wagering legislation into law.
- By Ray Paulick
California Gov. Gray Davis is a pro-labor Democrat who has spoken out in opposition to the expansion of gambling in his state. That's why a bill passed in the waning hours of the 2000 California legislative session poses something of a dilemma to the first-term governor.
Opposition to a bill that would unionize backstretch workers in California is growing as it makes its way through the state Senate.
Legislation that would regulate the living and working conditions at California's horse racing tracks is moving ahead.
Apprehension, fear and cynicism permeated the air at California tracks after state and federal officials conducted a two-day backstretch sweep in search of labor violations.
Following a sweep of the stable areas of four California racetracks Wednesday, inspectors from the state labor commissioner's office and the U.S. Labor Department began pouring over records in search of violations, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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