The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, April 19, at Santa Anita Park. Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach presided. Commissioners Fred Maas, Araceli Ruano and Alex Solis also were in attendance.
- The Board opened public discussion of an announced decision by Golden Gate Fields to cease contracting with the organization that has been providing staffing, supervision and other services to the entire simulcasting network in Northern California (Northern California Off Track Wagering Inc., or NCOTWINC). Golden Gate will provide details on how it will support simulcasting in Northern California when it submits its license application for the meet that begins August 23, which requires Board approval. In the meantime, the various stakeholders impacted by the decision, including the Pari-Mutuel Employees Guild that traditionally negotiates contracts through NCOTWINC, will continue discussing the ramifications of the move and possible alternatives.
- Vice Chair Auerbach, who chairs the Medication, Safety and Welfare Committee, reported on a discussion Wednesday about the proposed transfer of certain veterinary records to the new owner (s) when horses are claimed (purchased), particularly records of any joint injections. She said her principal concerns are the health and welfare of horses and those who ride them. CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker and Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB's equine medical director, will continue discussions with horsemen and veterinarians to work out the details of this transfer. They also will be discussing a more comprehensive proposal to create a digital database of equine health records.
- The Board approved for public notice a proposed rule to require continuing education as a condition of licensure for trainers and assistant trainers. The CHRB will continue working with horsemen and others on the content of the continuing education program. Some components, known as education modules, already have been completed and are available online, even though the continuing education program is not expected to be fully implemented before 2020.
- Commissioner Maas, member of the Special Committee on Northern California Racing, reported on the successful negotiation of a stabling plan during the Northern California fair season. Full details of that agreement were provided in a March 30 advisory issued by the CHRB.
- Executive Director Baedeker provided an update on the reopening of San Luis Rey (SLR) Training Center last week and thanked the Stronach Group, owner of SLR, for completing this phase of the rebuilding process in just four months after a fire destroyed many of the structures thereDecember 7. Baedeker reported that all horses that were temporarily housed at Del Mar Race Track have been returned to SLR.
- Baedeker also reported that total handle for California horse racing has increased by 11.85 percent so far this year, largely attributable to wagering in other jurisdictions on California races.
- The Board authorized the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to distribute a total of $78,131 in race day charity proceeds to designated beneficiaries.
- The Board approved a request by the California Authority of Racing Fairs to treat the fair meets in Pleasanton, Sacramento, Ferndale and Fresno as one meet for the sole purpose of allowing wagering carryovers from one fair to another.
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