The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, August 22, at the Del Mar Hilton. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Dennis Alfieri, Dr. Gregory Ferraro, Fred Maas, and Alex Solis also were in attendance.
The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief:
- During public comment, the Board heard from a number of people expressing their views on animal rights, the importance of racetrack jobs, and other issues concerning the life of a racehorse.
- The Board approved a significant portion of the 2020 race dates calendar for Southern California thoroughbreds that was presented jointly by Santa Anita Park, Del Mar, and the Thoroughbred Owners of California. The Board approved four blocks of race dates and simulcast-only dates beginning at Santa Anita on December 26, 2019, through June 23, 2020, followed by Del Mar (July 5 through September 8), back to Santa Anita (September 9 through October 27), and then Del Mar (October 28 through December 1).
The winter-spring dates approved for Santa Anita include 12 days that must be taken off during that six-month stretch. Those dates are not specifically listed, as the Board intends to give Santa Anita flexibility to cancel racing due to severe weather, insufficient entries, or other circumstances that will be obvious when the time comes. Santa Anita must receive approval from the CHRB chairman or executive director before any cancellations.
- The remainder of the Southern California calendar will be discussed at a public meeting of the Dates Committee along with schedules for Northern California, harness racing, and quarter horse racing.
- The Board approved the license for the Pacific Racing Association to conduct a race meet at Golden Gate Fields that will operate from October 17 through December 15, on condition that Golden Gate submit required documents pertaining to purses and simulcast agreements.
- The Board approved the license for the Big Fresno Fair to conduct a race meet in Fresno what will operate from October 3 through October 14.
- Concerning those two license approvals and prior approvals for upcoming meets at Santa Anita and Los Alamitos, the Board authorized Golden Gate Fields, the Big Fresno Fair, Santa Anita and Los Alamitos to impose two of the same restrictions on medications that have been in effect for other meets this year, specifically a reduction (by half) of authorized Lasix and a prohibition against the administration of corticosteroids within 14 days of a race.
- The Board continued the process for approving an emergency regulation to implement a new statute (SB 469), which gives the CHRB authority to “suspend a license to conduct a racing meeting when necessary to protect the health and safety of the horses and riders that are present at the racing meeting.” The process for putting an emergency regulation into effect is expected to be completed in September.
- The Board approved the license for Watch and Wager LLC to conduct a harness meet at Cal Expo that will operate from November 9 through December 14.
- The Board approved for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment requiring horses to be under the care of a CHRB-licensed trainer and on the grounds of a licensed facility for seven days before the race unless they have been shipped in to race from another racing jurisdiction or are permitted to race by the stewards.
- The Board approved for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment requiring any horse receiving intra-articular therapy to be placed on the Veterinarian's List and prohibited from working out for 120 hours following that treatment.
- The Board authorized changes to the Board of Directors for the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation and also approved the nominations of Thomas R. Bell, Ken Smole, Rick Gold, Damascus Castellanos and Josh Rubenstein to that Board.
- The Board authorized Los Alamitos Equine Sale Company to conduct its Annual Quarter Horse Yearling and Mixed Stock Sale at Los Alamitos on October 5 and October 6.
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