CTT Objects to Exchange Wagering at Del Mar

Trainers organization has not signed agreement with track for upcoming meet.

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 Thoroughbred Club for the upcoming summer meet.

The California Horse Racing Board, meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park May 24, approved the Del Mar application for a 37-day meet from July 18 to Sept. 5. The track's agreement with CTT mainly covers safety issues.

Exchange wagering, or proposition betting, is expected to get a full hearing at the board's June 28 meeting at Hollywood Park. Del Mar is on record in support of the proposal, which would be conducted through advance deposit wagering firms. The primary sponsor is Betfair/TVG.

Sadler, a leading Southern California trainer, said that exchange wagering, popular in the United Kingdom, has been scandalized on numerous occasions. He said that none of the trainers he has discussed it with want it approved in California.

"Integrity, integrity, integrity, that's the issue," he told the board. "We're not prepared to sign an agreement (with Del Mar) today. We don't have a lot of clout, I think everyone knows, but we are the first responders in case anything goes wrong and we are not prepared to sign anything."

The board went ahead and approved Del Mar's license application on a unanimous vote. Chairman Keith Brackpool said he understood the concern about exchange wagering but believed that debate should not be carried into the licensing process.

Del Mar officials reported that TVG would be handling broadcasting of the popular summer stand, which will be celebrating its 75th season. TVG will provide high definition broadcast of the races on-track, meaning about 70% of the facility's television monitors and its big board. TVG has not upgraded its platform for cable and satellite carriers, however, so home reception will not be in HD this season.

The board also approved Northern California summer meets for California Exposition and State Fair at Sacramento and the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa.

Cal Expo will run for eight days, one less than last year. The dates are July 12-22. Meet director Dave Elliott said the fair would operate on a simulcast-only basis July 18 as the Northern California host for opening day for Del Mar.

Sonoma County is set to run for 15 days, same as in 2011. The dates are July 25 through Aug. 12.

Elsewhere, the board approved five-year licenses for two mini-satellite facilities. The new sites are Santa Clarita Lanes, a bowling alley in Saugus, and Bankers Casino, a card club in Salinas.

The bowling alley, located in Southern California, is set to begin July 1. Monterey County Fair will operate the Salinas facility, which is slated to begin operation Aug. 1. The licenses are in effect until June 30, 2017.

The board also approved a five-year license extension for the mini-satellite O.C. Tavern, located in San Clemente. It was originally licensed in 2010.

A rule that would make it illegal to run a pregnant mare beyond a 120-day gestation period was approved for a 45-day public comment period.