The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, July 18, at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Dennis Alfieri, Dr. Gregory Ferraro, Fred Maas, Araceli Ruano, 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:
· Chairman Winner began the meeting by introducing Dr. Ferraro, who Governor Gavin Newsom appointed to the Board on June 26. Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, explained that Dr. Ferraro devoted his entire veterinary career to protecting the health and welfare of horses, initially when he practiced veterinary medicine for 27 years at Southern California thoroughbred racetracks, then from 1997 as Director of the Center for Equine Health at the University of California, Davis, until his retirement in 2014. His activities at U.C. Davis involved promoting research and education in equine medicine and securing the health and welfare of all breeds of horses. He also continued performing equine surgeries. Dr. Arthur pointed out that Dr. Ferraro co-founded and served as the first president of the Southern California Equine Foundation in 1976, which today still operates an equine clinic in the stable area at Santa Anita and oversees medical research for the betterment of horses.
· The Board began the regulatory process to require at all racetracks those furosemide restrictions initially put into place at Santa Anita by agreement with the Thoroughbred Owners of California. As approved for 45-day public notice, the regulatory amendment reduces the amount of authorized bleeder medication (furosemide, or Lasix) to 250 mg and prohibits its administration to foals born in 2018 and subsequent years
· The Board approved 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 should take less than one month.
· The Board approved the license application for the Los Angeles Turf Club to conduct a race meet at Santa Anita that will operate from September 27 through November 3, culminating with the Breeders' Cup. The license was approved on condition that LATC submit a horsemen's agreement to the Board by August 2 and a requirement that any plans to reconfigure the turf courses to deal with safety concerns must be first approved by Executive Director Baedeker.
· The Board approved the license application for the Los Angeles County Fair to conduct a daytime race meet at Los Alamitos Race Course from September 5 through September 22.
· The Board reaffirmed its approval of the license application for the Pacific Racing Association (PRA) to conduct a race meet at Golden Gate Fields from August 15 through September 29 after PRA met the conditions of the license by submitting agreements with all simulcast outlets in Northern California
· The Board also authorized PRA to install a two new, improved safety rails at Golden Gate.
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