The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, August 24, at Del Mar Race Track. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. First Vice Chair George Krikorian, Second Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Jesse Choper, Araceli Ruano and Alex Solis also were in attendance.
- Chairman Winner began the meeting with a dedication to Brad McKinzie, the longtime executive at Los Alamitos Racecourse and a principal in the Finish Line Insurance Group, who passed away August 6 from cancer at the age of 62. CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker, a longtime friend of Mr. McKinzie, said that he will be remembered for solving two of California's biggest problems: the workers' compensation insurance crisis in 2004 and, more recently, the stabling shortage caused by the closing of Hollywood Park. “Brad was our voice of reason but, far more important, he was the definition of a good person,” said Baedeker.
- The Board approved the license for the Los Angeles Turf Club to operate a race meet at Santa Anita Park from September 27 through October 31. This meet leads into the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar and, to that end, will offer five Grade 1 stakes opening weekend designed as preps for the championship races a month later.
- Vice Chair Auerbach reported that the Medication, Safety and Welfare Committee will be submitting a proposed rule for Board consideration in September that would prohibit a horse from racing within seven days of being injected with a corticosteroid. She also reported that from more than 40,000 samples tested, there were eight serious Class 1, 2, and 3 medication or drug violations in Fiscal-Year 2016-17. There were 70 Class 4 and 5 violations
- Baedeker commended Cal Expo officials, horsemen and other personnel for the precautionary steps they took to prevent heat stress in horses that raced at the recent State Fair meet during extremely warm weather. He said there were no reported incidents of heat stress at the meet.
- Baedeker also reported that changes in the procedure for administering authorized bleeder medication (Lasix) to horses entered to race will go into effect December 26 at all race meets in California. Racing associations must indicate in their license applications for each meet the details for having Lasix administered by third-party veterinarians with no business connection to the owner and trainer.
- The Board authorized for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment establishing a minimum two-day suspension penalty for jockeys violating Rule 1699 (Riding Rules). The stewards will retain their authority to issue more severe penalties when warranted.
- The Board approved the license to conduct the Los Angeles County Fair race meet at Los Alamitos from September 6 through September 26.
- The Board approved the license for the Pacific Racing Association to operate a race meet at Golden Gate Fields from October 18 through December 19. This meet will partially overlap with a fall meet at Los Alamitos, which does not have a turf course, so Golden Gate will be facilitating the shipment of turf horses from Southern California to Northern California during that overlap.
- The Board approved the license for Watch and Wager LLC to operate a harness meet at Cal Expo from October 1 through December 24.
- The Board authorized managers of the Jockey Defined Contribution Retirement Plan to alter the method of distribution to retired jockeys.
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