By John W. Russell -- An essential precept for any impartial enforcement of the rules of racing is judgment, and nowhere on the American Turf has this principle been better upheld than under the keen eye and vast experience of Pete Pedersen, senior steward for the California Horse Racing Board.
Applications from four companies seeking to offer account wagering in California will be considered by the California Horse Racing Board on Jan. 24.
With the California Horse Racing Board only days from ruling on four applications for license to conduct advance deposit wagering, it isn't clear where three of the state's major tracks -- Santa Anita Park, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate Fields -- are going to have their races televised.
A board of three stewards at Santa Anita Park ruled that no penalty should be assessed against trainer Jesus (Jesse) Mendoza for a morphine positive found in a horse he trained in June, 2000. The Jan. 10 ruling stated that Mendoza had "mitigated the circumstances of the charge."
Racing and breeding news from the Thoroughbred industry
In his first ride in a competitive race since February 2000, jockey Pat Valenzuela rode 17-1 shot Fall For Me to a second-place finish in the fourth race on Santa Anita's opening-day card Wednesday.
The clock ticks for the arrival of account wagering in California, and it may keep ticking well into the new year. The earliest the state's racing fans can expect to be able to open accounts and begin telephone or Internet wagering is mid-February 2002, but depending on how well the regulatory review process goes, wagering might not occur until some time in May.
Five Southern California trainers have been fined $1,500 each by the California Horse Racing Board after an herbal product they used on horses under their care was found to contain two banned substances. A hearing will be held in January.
The on-again, off-again career of jockey Patrick Valenzuela is on again. Valenzuela, 39, received a conditional license to resume riding from the California Horse Racing Board on Friday and will begin working horses Saturday, according to his attorney, Don Calabria.
For the first time in 20 years, California racing will get a real holiday. Racing takes a Christmas break after the Monday, Dec. 17 programs at Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood Park, and the action doesn't return until Dec. 26, when Golden Gate resumes and Santa Anita Park opens its traditional winter
Fairplex Park has had discussions about moving its 17-day Los Angeles County Fair meet to another track in metropolitan Southern California. But Wendy Talarico, communications manager for the fair, said there are no plans to do anything commercially with the racetrack grounds. And, contrary to a published report that the Pomona, Calif., track has an agreement in principle with Hollywood Park, Talarico said no deal has been done.
Alan Landsburg believes account wagering can do a lot of good for California, but only if is it used to introduce a new audience to horse racing. Otherwise, it "will be little more than a pinky in a crumbling dike," the California Horse Racing Board chairman said.
With the California Horse Racing Board giving final approval last Friday to regulations for advance deposit wagering, Youbet.com is gearing up to begin taking wagers in the state once it is legal in January 2002.
The long-winding process of making legal account wagering part of California's horse racing landscape got a quick approval Friday, Nov. 30, from the state Horse Racing Board.
Advertising on jockey attire, owners' silks and track saddle cloths is now legal at California tracks. Although some concerns were raised regarding conflicts that advertising could cause, the California Horse Racing Board gave the change in race regulations unanimous approval Friday, Nov. 30.
A March 4, 2002, trial date has been set for Northern California Thoroughbred owners Michele Serrao and Bryan Rosenquist in connection with allegations the couple embezzled $12.7 million from Bank of America.
California Horse Racing Board officials are refusing to discuss a federal judge's decision to dismiss the board's case against trainer Bob Baffert in regard to a positive test for morphine in one of his horses last year.
Will Nevada-style gambling come to California racetracks soon? Not likely, said the president of the Federation of California Racetracks, Jack Liebau, who offered only lukewarm interest for a state gambling initiative that would allow racetracks to offer a full range of Las Vegas-style games, including slot machines.
On Monday, Nov. 19, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the California Horse Racing Board's case against trainer Bob Baffert over a morphine positive found in a post-race urine sample of a Baffert-trained horse last year.
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.
A push is under way in California for expanded gaming at proposed casinos or any outlet that currently holds a gaming license, including racetracks, according to published reports.
With the possibility of account wagering in California as soon as Jan. 1, officials at Magna Entertainment Corp., the owner of three major racetracks in the state, is keeping its plans quiet -- for now.
Recent legislation passed in California and signed by Gov. Gray Davis will allow Northern California racetracks and county fairs to expand simulcasting if the number of live racing dates is reduced. The new law also allows additional simulcasting if live racing is interrupted because of power failures that have plagued the state in recent years.
California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation authorizing the California Horse Racing Board to enter into an interstate compact for owners license but vetoed a bill that would have permitted racetracks and owners to lower takeout on betting handle.
More than 500 people turned out for a community meeting in Dixon, Calif., to hear Magna officials discuss their proposal for a state-of-the-art racetrack and training facility with a major-league price tag. Though they would not disclose a budget, Magna officials earlier had estimated its cost for the project at up to $150 million.
Two horses were scratched at Santa Anita on Wednesday after it was detected that both had sponges in their nasal passages.
The California Horse Racing board approved 15 proposed regulations for public notice Friday, setting the stage for account wagering to be in place in January after the proposed regulations pass through the administrative channels. The seven racing commissioners also voted unanimously to elect commissioner Alan Landsburg chairman.
The California Horse Racing Board has issued a complaint against licensed horse owner Gregory Allen Long for allegedly selling equine herbal products at a state racetrack without a required vendor's license.
Now comes the hard part. With Gov. Gray Davis' signing of Assembly Bill 471 on Aug. 13, California will soon usher in account wagering as well as see the unionization of racetrack backstretch workers. But how? The approval of the legislation, which go into effect Jan. 1, 2002, is only the first step in a lengthy process.
An undisclosed number of positive tests for the Class 3 drugs phenylpropanoloamine and norpseudoephedrine has prompted the California Horse Racing Board to urge trainers to scrutinize any herbal products or food supplements they feed their horses. Fifteen trainers were notified on Aug. 9 by the board, asking them to avoid a specific herbal product.
Magna Entertainment plans to increase stabling fees at its San Luis Rey Downs training center in Bonsall, Calif. in an effort to offset annual losses of $750,000.
The California Horse Racing Board gave initial approval Thursday to advertising on jockey attire, owners' silks, and racetrack saddle cloths. The program would be evaluated after one year.
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.
In an effort to increase field size, the California Horse Racing Board has proposed a 19-day reduction in the 2001 racing calendar in the state.
In an effort to increase field size, the California Horse Racing Board has proposed a 19-day reduction in the 2001 racing calendar in the state. The proposal would affect the major racetracks and some fairs.
Trainer Bob Baffert received a stay of the 60-day suspension he was given last Sunday by California Horse Racing Board stewards as a result of a positive test for trace levels of morphine in Nautical Look, a Baffert-trained runner who won a maiden race at Hollywood Park last May 3.
The California Horse Racing Board issued a complaint against Jose Silva, the trainer of Proud Louie, after the Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC Davis reported that a post-race urine sample from the horse contained hydroxymepivacaine.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- The 60-day suspension handed down by the three California Horse Racing Board stewards against Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bob Baffert comes as no surprise, given the CHRB track record.
The California Horse Racing Board issued a complaint against Laurie Burnett-Nutter, the trainer of You Scare Me, which finished second in the ninth race at Los Alamitos Race Course on Feb. 4, 2001.
An attorney for the California Horse Racing Board has recommended a six-month suspension and $10,000 fine for trainer Bob Baffert, who had a horse test positive for morphine last year. The positive urine sample came from Nautical Look, the winner of an allowance race at Hollywood Park May 3, 2000.
The California Horse Racing Board, meeting in executive session, denied Patrick Valenzuela's license application by upholding the stewards recommendation that the 38-year-old jockey not be relicensed. However, the racing commissioners indicated Valenzuela may reapply for a license in six months if at that time he can prove that he is no longer abusing drugs or alcohol and can show proof that he has regularly attended the Winners' Foundation program without interruption for the entire six-month period.
Stable area workers and their dependents will be eligible for extended health care under changes supported Friday by the California Horse Racing Board. The Board voted to begin the regulatory process for changes to rules governing operations of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation, a benevolent organization for backstretch employees who care for horses, such as grooms and hot walkers, providing them with medical and dental benefits.
The future of jockey Patrick Valenzuela's racing career may be decided during the next California Horse Racing Board meeting later this month.
For the first time in more than two years, the California Horse Racing Board has a full commission. Thursday, Gov. Gray Davis appointed retired Silicon Valley executive William A. Bianco to the CHRB, only six days after naming Los Angeles attorney Roger Licht to the board.
With Northern California-based horses being lured to other racing jurisdictions offering higher purses and increased turf racing during the summer, members of the California Horse Racing Board asked racing leaders Friday to outline their efforts to stem the exodus and prevent fields from shrinking to disastrous levels.
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
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.
The California Horse Racing Board approved a regulatory amendment Thursday increasing by $5 the minimum fee paid to jockeys on mounts that finish worse than third in a race, as requested by the Jockeys' Guild and supported by the horse-racing industry. The amendment also changes the timetable for when the fee is considered earned. Previously the fee was earned when the mount set foot on the racetrack to begin the parade to post. That meant that if a horse was injured in the saddling paddock and had to be scratched from the race, the rider did not earn a fee. Now jockeys will be entitled to the fee when they weigh out for the race with the clerk of scales before they go to the saddling paddock.
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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