The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, January 25, at Santa Anita Park. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. Vice Chairman Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Jesse Choper, Fred Maas, Araceli Ruano and Alex Solis also were in attendance.
- Cliff Goodrich, executive director of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation (CTHF), summarized the relief efforts for victims of the fire at San Luis Rey training center. Goodrich and representatives of Santa Anita Park/The Stronach Group and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) detailed the distribution of $818,000 that was donated by more than 6,000 individuals and organizations in response to the tragedy. As a non-profit organization that provides medical care and other services to racetrack workers, CTHF was selected by those involved to receive and distribute the funds, relying on input from those best able to determine the identities and needs of the victims. Funds were distributed to stable personnel, trainers and others who suffered losses, including individuals injured in the fire. And $100,000 went to the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), another non-profit organization that benefits retired racehorses. CTHF still has more than $100,000 that will be distributed to fire victims. Chairman Winner and Vice Chairman Auerbach both praised the relief efforts as examples of how the various segments of the racing community can work together.
- Representatives of the California Marketing Committee (CMC) presented their 2018 marketing plans to promote thoroughbred and fair racing. Most of the $1.6 million budget will go to the Significant Player Program ($600,000), horse recruitment ($455,000), and the Golden State Series ($250,000). CMC representatives will deliver an updated report at the February meeting of the Board.
- Staff presented a report (attached to this news release) on the CHRB review of the photo-finish technology in use at California racetracks. After contacting major racetracks in other states and their vendor, staff determined that the California vendor, Plusmic, uses “state-of-the-art” technology for photo finishes. However, the review determined that the monitors in the stewards' stands at racetracks used by stewards to review photos require updating to high definition (HD). The monitor in the stand at Santa Anita already has been upgraded to HD and similar upgrades at other tracks will become part of the licensing process.
- The Board approved license renewals for both the OC Tavern Grill in San Clemente and Sammy's Original of Lake Forest to operate as mini-satellite wagering facilities. Those two facilities are among the 12 restaurants, card clubs and other businesses currently operating as mini-satellites in California.
- The Board conditionally approved requests for the distribution of revenue from Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) by Northern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. (NOTWINC) and Southern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. (SCOTWINC) for their operations.
- Executive Director Rick Baedeker reported that wagering on California horse racing in 2017 was virtually even with wagering in 2016.
- The Board approved a request by the Jockey Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Pension Trustees to amend the plan pertaining to the distribution of funds to participants.
- The Board approved a CTHF request to expand eligibility for healthcare services provided by the organization.
- The Board authorized the Los Angeles Turf Club to distribute $27,397 in race day charity proceeds to 10 beneficiaries.
- The Board presented a resolution to former Commissioner George Krikorian for his service and contributions to horse racing and the public.
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