As U.S. racing faces the challenge of shaping race days and meets and maintaining field sizes at a time when foal crops are shrinking, experts said tracks and horsemen need to remember to keep the customer in the equation.
The first "Bing Crosby Season" at Del Mar ended successfully Nov. 30 as the four-week meeting saw strong handle and attendance marks established for Southern California's newest season of Thoroughbred racing.
The Los Alamitos Racing Association was granted a license to operate its first Thoroughbred meet July 3-13 at the Orange County racetrack by the California Horse Racing Board.
Over the next several months, the Los Angeles County Fair plans to phase out its racing-related activities at Fairplex Park, chief executive officer James Henwood told the California Horse Racing Board April 25.
Cal Expo won a tussle to gain an extra week on the summer fair racing calendar beginning in July 2015 after several months of debate when the California Horse Racing Board approved the dates plan.
The pros and cons of exchange wagering were among the highlights of the Jan. 24 session of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association winter convention in Pasadena, Calif.
As they have for the past several months, post-Hollywood Park racing plans will dominate the agenda for the California Horse Racing Board when it meets Sept. 19 in Pomona beginning at 9:30 a.m. PDT.
Concerned that the racing industry is no closer to resolving issues surrounding the closure of Hollywood Park next year, the California Horse Racing Board July 18 put off approval of racing dates in 2014-15 for a month.
Horsemen in California are pushing ahead with plans to make Los Alamitos Race Course and San Luis Rey Downs full-time off-track stabling sites once Betfair Hollywood Park is no longer available.
The framework for a Southern California racing calendar over the next two years with the impending closure of Betfair Hollywood Park was approved by the California Horse Racing Board May 23.
California Thoroughbred Trainers officials met with members March 21 to update them on industry discussions for an alternative to Betfair Hollywood Park when it eventually closes for expected development.
The president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers wants a more transparent process for selecting the track that will eventually succeed Betfair Hollywood Park and is calling for renewed consideration of Fairplex Park.
The CHRB could give its final approval to exchange wagering rules Nov. 15 when it meets at 9:30 a.m. PST in the Sunset Room at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Rules governing exchange wagering gained initial approval from the California Horse Racing Board at its meeting Sept. 20, more than a year after the commission had announced its intention to promulgate them.
California Thoroughbred Trainers seated three directors and unanimously elected James Cassidy as its new president at its annual transition meeting July 6 held at Betfair Hollywood Park.
John Sadler, president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, told the state horse racing board his group objects to exchange wagering and is not prepared to sign an agreement with the Del Mar for the upcoming meet.
A 2012 race dates calendar was approved by the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 6, with only minor changes from its 2011 version.
A reduction in the allowable level of the common pain reliever phenylbutazone in post-race tests was approved on a split vote by the California Horse Racing Board July 21 over the objections of horsemen.
Trainers Jim Cassidy and Ron Ellis have been elected and Glory Haley re-elected to the board of California Thoroughbred Trainers. Voting was conducted in June to fill three positions on the nine-member CTT board.
Santa Anita's dirt racetrack will be undergoing renovation in the coming months to bring it back to the combination of sand, silt, and clay initially approved when the new dirt surface was installed late last year.
Divisiveness among horsemen's groups in California "seems to me a terrible waste of industry resources," said Jack Owens, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, during an interview April 2.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California isn't talking, but a spokesman for a recently formed rival horseman's group wants to make sure the state's owner representative knows the new organization means business.
The California Horse Racing Board allocated Santa Anita Park the fall racing dates previously operated by the Oak Tree Racing Association at its meeting Feb. 17.
Lower thresholds for the pain reliever phenylbutazone, commonly known as Bute, in post-race tests of horses could be on the way in California in spite of objections from horsemen.
Santa Anita's track maintenance team plans to adjust the composition of the main track Jan. 18 to bring it back to the mix of sand, clay, and silt that it was before the region received several rainstorms in late December.
Temporary license extensions of 30 days to the state's four advance deposit wagering companies were approved by the California Horse Racing Board Dec. 16.
Unable to convince the Thoroughbred Owners of California to consider unifying with its organization, trainers in the state are pursuing plans to form a new representative group.
A decision on what to do with autumn race dates traditionally held by the Oak Tree Racing Association was put off by the California Horse Racing Board until a meeting next month.
The Model Rules Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International has voted 12-0, with one abstention, to recommend lowering the threshold of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Phenylbutazone.
A compromise has apparently been reached that would forestall the implementation of exchange betting until at least 2012, according to the Pasadena Star-News.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California is not pursuing a merger with the California Thoroughbred Trainers, the chairman of the official owners' organization said following its annual meeting Aug. 21 at Del Mar.
The California Horse Racing Board has arranged for Dr. Michael "Mick" Peterson, a well-known professor of engineering at the University of Maine, to inspect the main track at Santa Anita Park this coming week.
Amid concerns about track safety, horsemen representatives and Santa Anita management met the morning of Aug. 6 to discuss progress on renovation of the Pro-Ride synthetic racing surface that began July 26.
Thoroughbred racing in California remained uncertain about the future following a state horse racing board meeting July 22 in which major track owner MI Developments refused once again to provide a glimpse of its plans.
Alan F. Balch has been named executive director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers by the board of directors.
The California Thoroughbred Trainers reported Feb. 16 that San Luis Rey Downs will close as a Thoroughbred training center effective March 15.
At a Thoroughbred Owners of California summit meeting Feb. 13 at Santa Anita, the subject of racetrack surfaces dominated all other issues.
Meeting for the first time Jan. 27, the newly-elected board members of the organization representing California trainers announced its support for replacement of the state's synthetic tracks.
A slate of new board members for the California Thoroughbred Trainers is set to take over next week following a special election demanded by members who are unhappy with the state of racing and the organization's direction.
The California Horse Racing Board finally gave approval to a Northern California fair racing dates program for 2010 during its meeting at Santa Anita Park Jan. 15, though not everyone was happy with the much-delayed action.
Backtracking on a rule amendment that one observer said "would fundamentally change the claiming game," the California Horse Racing Board tabled a proposal that would have voided a claim if the horse that was bought, due to injury or distress, was unable to return to the designated unsaddling area after the finish of the race.
The nine members of the California Thoroughbred Trainers board of directors gave notice they will resign when a new board is seated after an election in January 2010.
Claiming a horse would no longer be a blanket "buyer beware" scenario under a rule amendment approved for a 45-day public comment period by the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 15.
Two groups representing California trainers have reached agreement on some differences and the result could mean a new election for the California Thoroughbred Trainers, which represents trainers in the state.
Ed Halpern, executive director and general counsel for the California Thoroughbred Trainers, plans to retire after his contract expires in December, the organization announced.
As of Thursday, March 5, the Thoroughbred Owners of California has assumed administration of the Santa Anita Paymaster funds, according to a memo released by the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
Trainer John Sadler says he unlikely to return to his role as board president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers and could be part of a push to form a new organization.
Requiring safety reins, a move strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, will be the subject of a public hearing to be held by the California Horse Racing Board during its regular monthly meeting at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18.
Six years after a state law was passed extending full rights to horse-owning trainers and their spouses in the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the organization is scrambling to rectify an apparent exclusion sent out as part of the current board of directors election ballot.
Santa Anita officials, considering re-installing a dirt racing surface, have delayed a decision regarding whether to replace its synthetic track, which is plagued by continual drainage problems.
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