Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, North America's all-time leading rider, faces a stewards' disciplinary hearing at Bay Meadows after his horse broke down Aug. 23 in the first race nearing the wire as the jockey whipped him. Trainers Art and Steve Sherman support Baze and voiced outrage over the possible disciplinary action.
Hearing complaints from fans and state legislators, the California Horse Racing Board tried to tackle two fronts on how to maintain integrity for the sport: late wagers and board conflicts.
By Dr. Scott Stanley and Dr. Rick Arthur - Horse racing was ahead of other sports in implementing a drug-testing program, and in many ways we are still the pacesetters. We cast a broader net for more drugs than any other sport.
Trying to cure a scheduling headache, the California Horse Racing Board has started planning for the future -- with or without Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park. At an Aug. 10 meeting at Del Mar, the CHRB's dates committee took the first step in piecing together a cohesive three-year calendar.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
The California Horse Racing Board tabled action banning horses that have undergone "heel nerving" surgery from being raced or sold in the state after the agency's equine medical director objected to the proposed rule amendment.
Trainer T.R. (Ray) Bell II and jockey Jon Court had never received so much attention for capturing a maiden event as they did when Special Smoke became the first horse to win a race over Del Mar's new Polytrack racing surface July 18.
The California Horse Racing Board has approved a one-year conditional waiver from the state mandate for synthetic surfaces for Bay Meadows.
Legislation that would change the current membership of the commission that oversees horse racing in California and require other "ethics reform" was introduced by State Senator Leland Yee June 26.
Michael Neuman, who was hired in late February as the chief executive officer of Magna Entertainment Corp., is leaving the company, it was announced June 22.
The California Horse Racing Board agreed in principle June 19 to a one-year waiver in 2008 from the state's synthetic track mandate for Bay Meadows. But the board can't make it official until its next meeting.
Trying to undo the negative fallout over comments by his company's new CEO, Magna Entertainment founder Frank Stronach pledged $24 million for installation of synthetic racing surfaces at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields as well as much needed refurbishing of the Santa Anita barn area.
Trainers Art Sherman and Brian Koriner face California Horse Racing Board complaints for allegedly exceeding regulatory thresholds in post-race medication tests reported by the University of California-Davis' Maddy Laboratory.
The California racing industry voiced nearly united support for synthetic racing surfaces and for the board that mandated them during a packed California Senate committee hearing Wednesday, June 13, in Sacramento.
Trainer Darrell Vienna, whose controversial position as a state consultant became part of a political squabble with a California state senator, has resigned.
After much deliberation, Santa Anita has chosen Cushion Track, the same surface as at Hollywood Park, for its synthetic track, it was announced May 23. The all-weather surface is to be installed this summer in time for the fall Oak Tree Racing Association meeting.
Trainer Jamey Thomas was fined $7,500 and suspended for 15 days by Golden Gate Fields stewards after two horses in his care were found to have exceeded allowable limits for total carbon dioxide. His fine has been stayed in an agreement with the California Horse Racing 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.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is willing to spend tens of millions for its upscale commercial development, The Shops at Santa Anita, in the track parking lot, but nothing to fix up the dilapidated barn area, the California Horse Racing Board learned during its meeting in Sacramento May 22.
The California Senate budget review committee said it would remove funding for the California Horse Racing Board unless the regulatory agency addresses problems and improves communication.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Racing has enough problems without a grandstanding politician using his position to wage a personal war with a state regulator.
The California Horse Racing Board has filed a complaint against trainer Patrick Biancone for a Class 3 violation of medication regulations after post-race testing identified the presence of salmeterol in the urine sample collected from Iron Butterfly, a horse in his care.
Alan Landsburg, a member of the Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors for 10 years, is stepping down.
A bill that would increase riding fees for California jockeys and tie future hikes to the state's minimum wage law cleared the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee April 25.
Owners -- along with their trainers -- whose horses have repeated medication violations are subject to tough new penalties under changes given final approval by the California Horse Racing Board April 19.
One racecourse is apparently closing at the end of the year, a victim of its decision not to install a synthetic racing surface. Then voters rejected the track that would have eventually replaced it. After a tumultuous month for the future of Northern California racing, what happens next?
California State Senator Dean Florez announced April 20 that he intends to introduce legislation that allows California racetracks to retain their license fees, using those funds, amounting to about $40 million a year, to increase purses and provide breeders' awards and incentives.
- 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.
Jesse Choper has been appointed to the California Horse Racing Board by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
California state senator Leland Yee introduced a resolution March 29 calling for the resignation of Richard Shapiro, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, following a vote a week earlier causing the likely closure of the historic Bay Meadows horse track in San Mateo.
Southern California trainers Rene Amescua and Kevin Lewis were each fined $1,500 after horses in their care tested positive for scopolamine in 2005, although Santa Anita Park stewards stayed the penalties in each instance as part of a stipulated agreement with the California Horse Racing Board, the agency announced March 25.
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.
The California Horse Racing Board will webcast its March 22 meeting at Bay Meadows and will consider continuing the experiment at subsequent monthly meetings.
Trainers Mike Mitchell and Paul Aguirre were fined for Class 3 violations by Santa Anita stewards after horses in their care were found to have exceeded the regulatory limit for total carbon dioxide, the California Horse Racing Board reported March 15.
Trainer Brian Pitnick has been fined $3,000 by Bay Meadows stewards for rule violations after a horse under his care, Theycallme Mr. Tim, exceeded the regulatory threshold of 37 millimeters for total carbon dioxide, the California Horse Racing Board reported March 7.
A 45-day public comment period started March 2 on a series of rule amendments and additions under consideration by the California Horse Racing Board revising classification of drug substances and penalties for medication violations.
The California Horse Racing Board will begin enforcing a regulation prohibiting the use of front toe grabs exceeding four millimeters in length after commissioners voted Feb. 22 to reverse their decision last month to ignore the rule.
Following reports that Santa Anita might request more time before installing a synthetic main-track surface, Santa Anita President Ron Charles announced Feb. 21 that Magna Entertainment Corp. is committed to installing such a surface this year.
A commmittee that sprung from last year's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is calling for a ban of toe grabs with a height greater than four millimeters.
Only about 12% of horses tested for clenbuterol had measurable levels of the medication in 193 blood samples taken recently, according to Dr. Rick Arthur's report Thursday to the California Horse Racing Board medication committee.
The head of California's trainer association labeled "ridiculous" a Jockeys' Guild petition seeking payment on a rider's behalf from a trainer whose winning horse was later disqualified because of a positive drug test.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking that a jockey be paid his share of the purse from a Bay Meadows race in which his mount was later disqualified for a drug positive.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
Stewards at Golden Gate Fields fined trainer Art Sherman $3,000 for a Class III violation of California rules after a horse in his care, Fargoabargain, tested in excess of the permitted level for clenbuterol.
The California Horse Racing Board has moved forward with its revised equine drug regulations and tougher penalties for offenders.
The use of clenbuterol and the potential elimination of anabolic steroids were the primary subjects of two meetings Thursday at Santa Anita.
While one barn at Los Alamitos remains under quarantine due to equine herpesvirus-1 positives, the situation in California appears to have calmed down considerably.
According to the California Horse Racing Board's weekly update, the board has filed complaints against trainers John Sadler and Vladimir Cerin.
The California Horse Racing Board, under fire for its drug enforcement policies, would dramatically change penalties for many violations and repeat offenses under recommendations passed on to the full commission by its medication committee Jan. 9.
Five of the six horses previously identified with equine herpesvirus type 1 at Golden Gate Fields tested negative in samples taken Jan. 5, the director of the large animal clinic at the University of California-Davis reported.
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