CHRB to Review Suspension Policy

Review prompted by presence of suspended trainer Carla Gaines at Del Mar.

The appearance of suspended trainer Carla Gaines in the public area at Del Mar the weekend of Aug. 10 has prompted the California Horse Racing Board to review its current suspension policy.

Gaines began serving a 30-day suspension Aug. 1 in connection with two testosterone positives. On Aug. 10 Gaines was present in the area outside the Del Mar paddock during the races, raising questions about the CHRB policy on suspended licensees.

"Historically, when a trainer has been suspended, most suspension orders have included language prohibiting them from entering both the public areas of racetracks and the areas in which only state licensees may enter," the CHRB said in an Aug. 16 statement. "In the case of Ms. Gaines' suspension order, as with some others in the past, the prohibition did not include public areas of the racetrack. In the past suspended trainers have observed that restriction even though it was not spelled out and therefore not required."

CHRB chairman David Israel conducted a teleconference Aug. 14 with vice chairman Chuck Winner, CHRB counsel Robert Miller, assistant executive director Jacqueline Wagner, Del Mar stewards, and CHRB staff "for the purpose of understanding how this inconsistency occurred and how to correct it."

As a result of the teleconference, Israel and Winner will recommend to the full board that it adopts new policies for suspensions calling for "all such cases be remanded to the stewards, who will issue the actual orders of suspension and who will consistently include language denying access to all premises in the jurisdiction," according to the statement.

"The CHRB will discuss this matter and the recommendations of the chairman and vice chairman in executive session following the next CHRB meeting" Aug. 22, the CHRB said.