No Change in Hollywood Bet Cut-Off ... For Now

Hollywood Park won't be getting special approval from the California Horse Racing Board to institute a new policy that would cut off wagering on its races at post time in time for its next racing day, which is Nov. 14.

Consideration of the matter will come at the CHRB's next regularly scheduled meeting Nov. 21, when a proposed waiver of Rule 1967 is on the agenda, according to the board chairman.

Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Hollywood Park, plans to implement the change in wagering procedure Nov. 13. It is requiring that its tracks automatically shut off betting when the race clock switches to zero ("0"), signifying post time.

That is about one minute before horses are loaded into the starting gate. Currently, Rule 1967 locks wagering "coincident with the start of a race."

Churchill Downs wants to make the change in its simulcast network because of complaints it has received about fluctuations in odds that occur after a race has started, but before some simulcast and account deposit wagering hit the mutuel pools. Hollywood Park is the only track Churchill owns in California.

Board chairman Alan Landsburg said CHRB staff was working on arranging a special meeting of board members and racing officials and staff by telephone. Such a meeting requires 48 hours of public notice and must meet criteria for an "emergency" measure, he said.

He said he questions whether an emergency, under those guidelines, exists.

"It's so difficult to do," Landsburg said. "The earliest we could deliver (a rule waiver) would be (Nov. 15). At that point, there are only four or five racing days until our next meeting. We want integrity, but would integrity be better served by waiting until Nov. 21, when we can get the full participation of everyone involved and dealing with it then?"

The November 21 meeting is open to the public. It will begin at 10 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in El Segundo at the Los Angeles International Airport.