One racecourse is apparently closing at the end of the year, a victim of its decision not to install a synthetic racing surface. Then voters rejected the track that would have eventually replaced it. After a tumultuous month for the future of Northern California racing, what happens next?
California State Senator Dean Florez announced April 20 that he intends to introduce legislation that allows California racetracks to retain their license fees, using those funds, amounting to about $40 million a year, to increase purses and provide breeders' awards and incentives.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The CHRB's mandate is not only the right thing to do for the safety of horses, it is a benefit to owners, too, and ultimately for the tracks. Fewer injuries ensures there will be more horses in training, which will lead to larger field sizes, which usually translates to increased pari-mutuel handle. Owners are always happier to have horses racing and training rather than convalescing or recovering.
Jesse Choper has been appointed to the California Horse Racing Board by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
California state senator Leland Yee introduced a resolution March 29 calling for the resignation of Richard Shapiro, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, following a vote a week earlier causing the likely closure of the historic Bay Meadows horse track in San Mateo.
Southern California trainers Rene Amescua and Kevin Lewis were each fined $1,500 after horses in their care tested positive for scopolamine in 2005, although Santa Anita Park stewards stayed the penalties in each instance as part of a stipulated agreement with the California Horse Racing Board, the agency announced March 25.
Faced with eventual closure of Bay Meadows, the California Horse Racing Board doomed the 73-year-old race course rather than grant a two-year waiver of its edict mandating that all major Thoroughbred tracks in the state install synthetic surfaces by the end of the year.
The California Horse Racing Board will webcast its March 22 meeting at Bay Meadows and will consider continuing the experiment at subsequent monthly meetings.
Trainers Mike Mitchell and Paul Aguirre were fined for Class 3 violations by Santa Anita stewards after horses in their care were found to have exceeded the regulatory limit for total carbon dioxide, the California Horse Racing Board reported March 15.
Trainer Brian Pitnick has been fined $3,000 by Bay Meadows stewards for rule violations after a horse under his care, Theycallme Mr. Tim, exceeded the regulatory threshold of 37 millimeters for total carbon dioxide, the California Horse Racing Board reported March 7.
A 45-day public comment period started March 2 on a series of rule amendments and additions under consideration by the California Horse Racing Board revising classification of drug substances and penalties for medication violations.
The California Horse Racing Board will begin enforcing a regulation prohibiting the use of front toe grabs exceeding four millimeters in length after commissioners voted Feb. 22 to reverse their decision last month to ignore the rule.
Following reports that Santa Anita might request more time before installing a synthetic main-track surface, Santa Anita President Ron Charles announced Feb. 21 that Magna Entertainment Corp. is committed to installing such a surface this year.
A commmittee that sprung from last year's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is calling for a ban of toe grabs with a height greater than four millimeters.
Only about 12% of horses tested for clenbuterol had measurable levels of the medication in 193 blood samples taken recently, according to Dr. Rick Arthur's report Thursday to the California Horse Racing Board medication committee.
The head of California's trainer association labeled "ridiculous" a Jockeys' Guild petition seeking payment on a rider's behalf from a trainer whose winning horse was later disqualified because of a positive drug test.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking that a jockey be paid his share of the purse from a Bay Meadows race in which his mount was later disqualified for a drug positive.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
Stewards at Golden Gate Fields fined trainer Art Sherman $3,000 for a Class III violation of California rules after a horse in his care, Fargoabargain, tested in excess of the permitted level for clenbuterol.
The California Horse Racing Board has moved forward with its revised equine drug regulations and tougher penalties for offenders.
The use of clenbuterol and the potential elimination of anabolic steroids were the primary subjects of two meetings Thursday at Santa Anita.
While one barn at Los Alamitos remains under quarantine due to equine herpesvirus-1 positives, the situation in California appears to have calmed down considerably.
According to the California Horse Racing Board's weekly update, the board has filed complaints against trainers John Sadler and Vladimir Cerin.
The California Horse Racing Board, under fire for its drug enforcement policies, would dramatically change penalties for many violations and repeat offenses under recommendations passed on to the full commission by its medication committee Jan. 9.
Five of the six horses previously identified with equine herpesvirus type 1 at Golden Gate Fields tested negative in samples taken Jan. 5, the director of the large animal clinic at the University of California-Davis reported.
The California Horse Racing Board Medication Committee will consider major changes to the state's medication rules and penalties during a meeting Jan. 9 at Santa Anita Park.
Five more horses from trainer Lloyd Mason's barn at Golden Gate Fields have tested positive for a neurogenic strain of equine herpesvirus after final samples were tested on New Year's Day, although none are showing symptoms of the illness, officials said Jan. 3.
The executive director of the California Horse Racing Board removed herself from a decision-making role after Santa Anita Park stewards initiated an investigation of the claim of a horse trained by Bruce Headley by his son, Gus Headley, on Dec. 28.
Bay Meadows Race Course, long rumored to be facing demolition in favor of redevelopment plans approved by the city of San Mateo, may seek an exemption from a California Horse Racing Board mandate to replace its existing dirt track with an artificial one by the end of 2007.
Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and Pleasanton were placed under quarantine Dec. 29 after a horse from Golden Gate was diagnosed as positive for the neurogenic strain of EHV-1.
California trainer Allen E. Rogers was suspended by Bay Meadows stewards after a horse in his care tested in excess of the specified level for the 2-(1-hydroxyethyl) promazine, a Class 3 violation.
All horses trained by Mike Mitchell will run out of the detention barn for a period of 45 days that begins with those entered for Dec. 17, Hollywood Park announced, after a horse under his care exceeded the permitted total carbon dioxide level.
The California Horse Racing Board has filed complaints against trainers Art Sherman and Wesley Ward for medication violations.
The number of race horses that failed drug tests in California has nearly doubled since 2000, and the offenses rarely result in disqualification or other stiff penalties, the Orange County Register reported in its Dec. 10 edition.
Stewards at Los Alamitos suspended jockey Alex Bautista for 30 days following his unexcused absence the evening of Nov. 30 when he was scheduled to ride seven horses on the nine-race program.
California customers of rival account deposit wagering companies TVG and XpressBet would be able to play any track in the state with their preferred carrier under an agreement being negotiated on a one-year experimental basis.
Trainer Richard Baltas is serving a 15-day suspension issued by stewards at Bay Meadows and he was fined $2,500 after a horse he ran Feb. 4 tested positive for a pair of Class 3 prohibited substances.
Richard "Bon" Smith, a certified financial manager who served as chief of audits with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, has been named assistant executive director of the California Horse Racing Board.
The California Horse Racing Board has filed an accusation against trainer Gregory Vartanian for several rule violations after a horse in his care tested positive for the Class 1 prohibited substance methamphetamine in the post-race urine sample.
Hollywood Park picked up an additional six days in the 2007 racing calendar approved by the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 26 at Arcadia City Hall.
The simmering dispute between the organization representing California's horse owners and the racing television and wagering network TVG appeared unlikely to be resolved heading into the Oct. 26 meeting of the California Horse Racing Board.
Reducing the number of racing events without the loss of a significant number of actual racing days in the North was the goal of the California Horse Racing Board's Strategic Alliance Planning Committee, which met for the final time Oct. 12 before making a final 2007 dates recommendation to the full board.
The California Horse Racing Board has established a new policy of releasing a weekly update of complaints, accusations, stewards rulings, and board decisions involving Class 1, 2, and 3 medication violations and other significant matters.
The California Horse Racing Board has filed a complaint against trainer Jeff Mullins for multiple rule violations after a horse in his care, Robs Coin, tested positive for mepivacaine in the post-race urine sample.
California Horse Racing Board investigators are looking into allegations that a jockey at the recently concluded Fairplex Park meeting was carrying an illegal electrical device, known as a "battery" or a "buzzer", during the running of the second race on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has been named to ride four horses on Thursday's card at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, but may not know whether he'll be allowed to ride until a few hours prior to post time.
Dr. Rick Arthur, the new equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, told a meeting of state horse breeders Sept. 22 that he plans to hold veterinarians accountable when trainers they advise are found in violation of horse medication rules.
A longstanding dispute between California horsemen and the account deposit wagering provider TVG over what the television network may charge for its service remained unresolved Sept. 20 after the state horse racing board heard more than two hours of discussion during a marathon commission meeting at Fairplex Park in Pomona.
Cementing the 2007 racing schedule in the state remained the focus of the California Horse Racing Board Strategic Alliance Planning Committee, which met Sept. 19 for the third time.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club gained unanimous approval Sept. 12 to install an $8 million synthetic surface from the board of directors of the agricultural district that oversees the seaside track.
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