By Ray Paulick - Increased distribution along with the convenience of telephone or Internet betting resulted in double-digit increases of advance deposit wagering handle in 2003-2005. Del Mar reported a 24% increase one year ago, which makes this year's 7% drop all the more puzzling -- and alarming.
Several runners with their eyes on upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championship prep races around the country lit up the Southern California work tab Sept. 18, led by Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Point Ashley, who logged six furlongs in 1:11 4/5, breezing, on the fast main track at Santa Anita Park.
Under a no-cost-to-the-owner, voluntary program approved by the California Horse Racing Board utilizing federal grants, microchips have been implanted in almost 500 Thoroughbreds at Southern California racetracks over the last two months for health, security, and inventory purposes, and there is sufficient funding for another 3,500 horses, or roughly a third of the Thoroughbreds that race in Southern California during any 12-month period.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since the conclusion of the spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park July 16, was given clearance to resume exercising horses Sept. 7 after meeting with Del Mar stewards the morning of Sept. 6.
Reducing the dates calendar while increasing the overall quality of racing and the possible closure of two major racing facilities remained the focus of the California Horse Racing Board's "Strategic Alliance Planning Committee," which met for the second time at Del Mar on Aug. 28.
Six years after Magna Entertainment Corp. first pitched its idea, Dixon, Calif., city staff officially recommended the approval of Dixon Downs, a $250 million state-of-the-art racetrack and training center proposed for the rural town 20 miles west of Sacramento.
Doctors at the University of California-Davis veterinary school will run extensive tests on Lost in the Fog Friday in order to determine whether they will perform surgery to remove what is believed to be a cancerous mass from his spleen.
Last year's Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Lost in the Fog is being treated for "a slight case" of colic at the University of California-Davis veterinary school, according to his trainer, Greg Gilchrist, who accompanied his stable star to Davis.
The California Horse Racing Board has dismissed a pair of six-year-old complaints against trainer Bobby Frankel concerning morphine positives in post-race urine samples taken from his trainees Starmaniac and Mojave Moon in 2000.
As part of an effort to address concerns raised by several Northern California members, the Thoroughbred Owners of California held an open forum July 28 at Golden Gate Fields and pledged to act on several recommendations.
Disgruntled horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian, whose colt Past Tender was disqualified from victory in a July 28 race at Del Mar, has filed a conflict of interest complaint against one of the stewards involved and also protested the decision to the California Horse Racing Board.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said he was informed by the California Horse Racing Board that one of the horses in his care, Robs Coin, tested positive for a prohibited amount of the anesthetic mepivacaine, and that he is awaiting the results of split-sample tests.
By Morton Cathro - If recent action by the California Horse Racing Board should become permanent and be embraced by other states, racing might well see the return of the old, largely forgotten "declaring to win" rule invoked by the umbrella-wielding gentleman of yesteryear--with the unintended consequences it sometimes brings.
By Ray Paulick - Keeneland's director of racing, W.B. Rogers Beasley, earlier this year made an interesting case for expansion of the Eclipse Awards from 11 to 15 equine categories (including steeplechasers). Suggested additions were 3-year-old males and 3-year-old fillies on turf, filly and mare sprinters, and turf sprinters.
Southern California trainer Roger Stein is coming back to the radio airwaves in the Golden State. Following a year's absence, the conditioner's popular radio show "Trackside with Roger Stein" will debut Saturday, July 22, on KMXE-AM 830.
California will soon release the results of a study that will reflect trends in connection with blood samples taken from about 6,000 racehorses for the purpose of "milkshake" --or TCO2 testing-- last year.
Jockey Alex Solis, who was instrumental in bringing sports agent and rare-coin collector Dwight Manley to the attention of the Jockeys' Guild, said he's committed to turning around the Guild and hopes to bring it back to prominence in the Thoroughbred industry.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Medication Committee will review California research that helped develop thresholds for two therapeutic medications during its meeting July 14 in Bloomington, Minn., as part of the National HBPA summer convention.
California stewards issued a unanimous decision July 5 that Intercontinental, official winner of the Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last September, "did not gain an unfair advantage when it raced with a late treatment of pre-race bleeder medication."
The California horseracing industry has thrown its weight behind "Instant Racing" video games in the drive to offset declining economic fortunes, but a representative of the state's major casino tribes say it's nothing more than a smokescreen to break the Indians' monopoly and give the tracks slot machines.
Doug O'Neill, Hollywood Park's leading trainer, will run his horses out of a detention barn for the next 30 days because one of his starters tested over the permitted level for total carbon dioxide in May.
About 200 Northern California horsemen have signed a petition supporting the formation of a new trainer/owner organization to represent them in negotiations with racetrack associations and others, saying they believe their affiliation with the Thoroughbred Owners of California is no longer adequate.
The owners of champion mare Intercontinental and those who ran behind her in last September's $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar argued in front of three California stewards June 5 whether the winner's share of the Palomar purse should be redistributed.
Synthetic surfaces will be mandatory at major Thoroughbred race tracks in California by the end of next year under a regulatory amendment given final approval by the state's Horse Racing Board on May 25.
Given the possibility any of the three owners of the five privately owned racetracks in California could choose at any time to develop their properties and shut down racing operations, the California Horse Racing Board intends to hold several strategic planning meetings to develop long-range plans for horse racing in the state, and one of the options would be to allocate multi-year racing dates that would obligate the owners to operate for the term of the contracts.
The catalog for the 2006 Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training is now online. A total of 378 head have been entered in the sale that will be conductted Tuesday, May 16 in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, California beginning at 10:30 a.m.
In a March 15 declaration given under penalty of perjury, a former California associate steward stated the director of Del Mar security said he forwarded information about the mare Intercontinental getting a late Salix shot to the board of stewards, California Horse Racing Board investigators, and CHRB executive director Ingrid Fermin well before the running of the Palomar Handicap (gr. II) last Sept. 3.
In management changes announced by Youbet.com, Joe Tracy will head a new subsidiary that will develop technology-based games, products, and services, while Jeff True will serve as president of United Tote, which Youbet.com acquired earlier this year.