The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, May 23, at Santa Anita Park. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Dennis Alfieri, 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.
· During Public Comment, the Board heard from a number of people expressing their views on animal rights, the importance of racetrack jobs, and related issues in horse racing.
· The Board took four separate actions that collectively extended medication and training restrictions in place at Santa Anita and Golden Gate to most of the other racetracks in California. These safety initiatives are intended to protect horses and riders. Specifically, the Board authorized racing secretaries at Del Mar, Los Alamitos, Cal Expo and Pleasanton to establish conditions for races that will limit the administration of Lasix. (Limitations on corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications were previously approved.) The remaining fairs in Northern California are expected to request the same authorizations when their licenses are considered, which will make the restrictions consistent throughout the state.
· Vice Chair Auerbach and Executive Director Rick Baedeker reported on the previous day's hearing in Sacramento that was conducted jointly by the Senate and Assembly's Governmental Organization Committees. The informational hearing was an overview of equine and human safety and welfare policies and procedures within California's horse racing industry and included testimony from CHRB representatives, racing executives, animal rights advocates and other industry leaders. Vice Chair Auerbach expressed her appreciation for the legislators allowing them to provide information on the industry's commitment to protecting horses and riders.
· Executive Director Baedeker described the CHRB's drug testing program and other measures that assure integrity in California racing.
· The Board voted to send a letter of support for Senate Bill 469, which will give the Board greater flexibility to quickly move racing from one facility to another when necessary to protect the health and safety of horses and riders.
· The Board authorized the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) to conduct a race meet that will operate from July 17 through Labor Day, September 2. Representatives of Del Mar expressed their commitment to racing five days a week, though a limited inventory of horses could necessitate offering fewer races on some programs. DMTC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Harper said their highest priority will be safe racing and training.
· The Board authorized the Los Alamitos Horse Racing Association to conduct a daytime thoroughbred race meet at Los Alamitos Race Course that will operate from June 27 through July 14.
· The Board authorized the California Exposition and State Fair to conduct the State Fair meet at Cal Expo that will operate from July 12 through July 28.
· The Board gave final approval to a regulatory amendment prohibiting the presence of clenbuterol in quarter horse test samples.
· The Board authorized Fasig-Tipton Co. to conduct horse sales at Santa Anita on June 5 (2-year-olds in training) and September 25 (yearlings).
· The Board authorized an altered distribution of revenue from Advance Deposit Wagering to allow for a continuation of Ship and Win programs and rebates for high-volume, on-track bettors.
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