Hollywood Park Seeks OK for Wagering Cutoff

Hollywood Park officials expect the California Horse Racing Board to quickly approve wagering security steps announced earlier by its parent company, Churchill Downs, Inc., including a requirement to close all mutuel pools one minute before horses are loaded into the starting gate for each race.

A special teleconference meeting for the state board to adopt a rule change Monday is being arranged, Hollywood Park general manager Eual Wyatt Jr. said. Churchill Downs plans to implement the changes Wednesday, when Hollywood Park is dark. The first day the Southern California track's wagering pools would be affected is Thursday.

Currently Rule 1967 in California locks wagering off "coincident with the start of a race."

Wednesday, all mutuel pools on Churchill Downs Simulcast Network races will close one minute before the horses are loaded into the starting gate. Wagering will not be allowed at any location on a closed race after that. The interim measures apply only to races conducted at CDSN tracks (Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Calder Race Course, Ellis Park, Hollywood Park and Hoosier Park).

According to a company press release, "Wagering on each CDSN race will be open from the official start of the day's wagering until the pre-race clock on the event reaches zero ('0'). All of the pools on that race will then close and the horses will begin to load into the starting gate approximately one minute later.

"This new policy will undoubtedly require adjustments on the part of some of our patrons, but we ask for your patience and understanding as this new wagering procedure is implemented. Churchill Downs Incorporated and CDSN are working to ensure the integrity and safety of your wagers, whether those wagers are placed at one of our tracks or at any of the hundreds of simulcast outlets throughout North America."