Youbet.com announced May 21 it had regained compliance with NASDAQ trading requirements after its stock price traded above $1 for 10 consecutive business days.
With the hour glass emptying on Bay Meadows and perhaps Hollywood Park as well, the California Horse Racing Board heard from industry representatives working on contingency plans for the future of Thoroughbred racing in the state without two of its major tracks.
At a time when California is facing a state budget deficit approaching $15 billion, horse racing industry officials pleaded their case for special consideration before a legislative committee convened at the State Capitol in Sacramento March 5.
Now that voters in California have decisively approved a massive increase in Indian gaming for four large Southern California tribes, the chairman of the state's horse racing board says it is time for the tribal casinos to help out his ailing industry with financial mitigation.
Bay Meadows Race Course begins its final regular season meet next month, but questions remain about whether this is really the farewell stand for the 74-year-old track.
Overall wagering and on-track attendance at Hollywood Park increased during the 32-day fall meet that ended Dec. 22.
As California continues to wrestle with improving advance deposit wagering, the state welcomed a new provider. TwinSpires.com was awarded an ADW license Oct. 18, making it the fourth company to offer home computer betting on horse racing in the state.
Given reasonable assurance that Bay Meadows would remain open throughout 2008 for training and stabling, the California Horse Racing Board approved a statewide dates plan for the coming year during its Sept. 27 meeting in Arcadia.
The California Horse Racing Board has approved a one-year conditional waiver from the state mandate for synthetic surfaces for Bay Meadows.
Marsha Naify, Jack Liebau, and Alan Marzelli are new members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors. Naify is the first woman to serve on the board.
With State Sen. Leland Yee in attendance at its May 22 meeting in Sacramento, the California Horse Racing Board threw open the possibility that Bay Meadows could resume racing in 2008.
TVG announced April 24 that it will broadcast from Hollywood Park's 68th spring/summer meet, which began April 25 at the Inglewood, Calif. track. Throughout the meet, TVG will present a $150,000 Guaranteed Pick Four each weekday and a $300,000 Guaranteed Pick Four on Saturdays and Sundays.
- 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.
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.
Bay Meadows, hampered by wet weather that has made filling races difficult, announced Friday that it is canceling the live programs scheduled for March 7 and 14.
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.
After two fatal breakdowns, jockeys at Bay Meadows refused to ride following the second race Thursday, citing unsafe conditions caused by steady rainfall at the Bay Area track the past week.
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.
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.
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.
On-track attendance and pari-mutuel handle at Hollywood Park were down during the 61-day spring-summer meeting that ended July 16, although overall wagering increased slightly, according to preliminary figures released by the Southern California track.
Hollywood Park expects to be the first California racetrack to run on a synthetic-racing surface. The Inglewood facility announced June 21 that it will begin work with Equestrian Surfaces of the United Kingdom to replace the existing main track at the conclusion of the spring/summer meet on July 16.
The California Horse Racing Board is expected to waive its rules regarding the coupling of horses with common ownership during the current Hollywood Park meeting and upcoming Bay Meadows stand.
California racing associations that operate meets of at least four continuous weeks would be required to install a synthetic racing surface by the end of 2007 or face a loss of dates, the state's horseracing board decided Feb. 16.
Stakes winner Indian Country will enter stud at Tom Capehart and F. Jack Liebau's Valley Creek Farm near Valley Center, Calif.
Bay Meadows opens its new 31-day "Holiday Meet" on Monday. The short stand, which resulted as part of a dates swap in 2006 with Golden Gate Fields, runs through Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 5.
Track operators pledged their support to improving the conditions of racing surfaces in the state after about 25 trainers descended on the California Horse Racing Board meeting Dec. 1 at Hollywood Park to seek the commission's assistance.
Hollywood Park, in an agreement hammered out with horse owners, will restructure its overnight purses for the upcoming Autumn meeting and will also cut back the total number of racing days after losing its turf course, the California Horse Racing Board was told Nov. 3. The track has cut 11 stakes races worth $2.3 million as a result of the turf problem.
F. Jack Liebau has been named president of the Hollywood Park Racing Association, replacing Rick Baedeker, who has joined Stockbridge Capital Group, the company that now oversees the Inglewood, Calif., track.
The California Horse Racing Board put an important stamp of approval on the sale of Hollywood Park at its commission meeting Thursday at Del Mar by unanimously okaying the deal with the Bay Meadows' Land Company in accordance with state racing law.
Churchill Downs Inc. is eliminating 18 positions at Hollywood Park, including four department heads, in anticipation of completing the Inglewood, Calif., racetrack's sale to Bay Meadows Land Co. The sale is scheduled to close Sept. 23.
Calling Churchill Downs' recent sale of Hollywood Park a "shot across the bow," California state Senator Dean Florez heard industry leaders plea for help in racing's struggle for survival in the Golden State.
Saying that California "has forsaken racing and its needs," the president of Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 6 that the company has sold historic Hollywood Park to Bay Meadows Land Company for $260 million.
The Bay Meadows racing signal will be available to all three legal account deposit wagering companies in California when the Bay Area track opens for business under new management Feb. 2.
Santa Anita Park isn't waiting for a statewide ban to make its stand against "milkshakes." Starting at its upcoming meet that begins Dec. 26, the Arcadia, Calif., track will test every horse in every race for excess bicarbonate in their bloodstreams.
A proposed tribal mega-casino less than seven miles from Golden Gate Fields spurred a massive lobbying effort from California's $4.5-billion horse racing industry the week of Aug. 23.
Signaling changes to come, the Bay Meadows Land Company submitted a separate proposal for the 2005 racing schedule in the northern half of the state to the California Horse Racing Board dates committee Thursday.
Santa Anita has announced an across-the-board decrease in purse levels beginning Jan. 31 as a result of declines in off-track and out-of-state handle during the one month-old meeting.
Jack Liebau resigned as president of Santa Anita Park Monday and will be replaced by Jack McDaniel, an entertainment executive who was involved in the design of the track's new paddock-area restaurant and bar.
Slot-seeking California racetracks could benefit by a proposed state constitutional amendment aimed at pressuring Indian tribes to part with up to 25% of their casino profits.
Despite concerns the association's signal would be sent to wagering outlets that offer rebates, and the fact there is no contract yet with horsemen, the California Horse Racing Board Oct. 23 approved an application by the Los Angeles Turf Club for its Santa Anita Park meet that begins Dec. 26.
There's a serious call in California for video surveillance of racetrack barn areas. Magna Entertainment Corp. already is looking into adding equipment at its three tracks in the state.
It was only a single day on the proposed 271-day Thoroughbred racing circuit in Southern California in 2004. But for representatives of the state's owners and trainers appearing Thursday before the California Horse Racing Board, it was meaningful.
Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron was named general manager of Santa Anita Park, parent company Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Wednesday.
The respective presidents of Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park said they have pulled out all the stops in marketing this Saturday's $3.6-million Sunshine Millions, a unique program matching Florida-breds vs. California-breds at the two Magna Entertainment owned racetracks.
Although horsemen are prepared for the worst, it's unlikely that rain damage from recent storms will force officials to move racing in Northern California from Golden Gate Fields to Bay Meadows.
Racing was canceled at Golden Gate Fields Sunday when the jockeys deemed the rain-soaked racetrack to be "uneven and unfair."
The California Horse Racing Board Wednesday opened the door for tracks to pursue a workers' compensation insurance agreement that would bring relief to racing operations throughout the state.
California racing officials were unable to come to an agreement Monday on a formal proposal for a statewide workers' compensation insurance plan, but a representative for horse owners said progress was made following an afternoon-long session at Santa Anita.
California racing officials have shelved plans to seek an increase in the percentage of money taken out of their betting pools to help defray increasing worker' compensation costs.
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