In Wake of Gaines Case, CHRB to Review Suspension Policy

by | 08.16.2013 | 11:12am
Carla Gaines, viewing her horses from outside the paddock while on suspension.

Following issuance of the current 30-day suspension of trainer Carla Gaines, it has become apparent there are certain inconsistencies and ambiguities in the way some suspensions have been imposed.

Historically, when a trainer has been suspended, most suspension orders have included language prohibiting them from entering both the public areas of race tracks and the areas in which only state licensees may enter.

In the case of Ms. Gaines' suspension order, as with some others in the past, the prohibition did not include public areas of the race track. In the past suspended trainers have observed that restriction even though it was not spelled out and therefore not required.

California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) chairman David Israel convened a teleconference Aug. 14 for the purpose of understanding how this inconsistency occurred and how to correct it. Participating in the conference were chairman Israel, vice chairman Chuck Winner, CHRB counsel Robert Miller, assistant executive director Jacqueline Wagner, Del Mar stewards, and CHRB staff.

As a result of the teleconference, chairman Israel and vice chairman Winner decided to recommend to the full Board that a new policy be developed and adopted regarding suspensions. They will also recommend that all such cases be remanded to the stewards, who will issue the actual orders of suspension and who will consistently include language denying access to all premises in the jurisdiction.

The CHRB will discuss this matter and the recommendations of the chairman and vice-chairman in executive session following the next CHRB meeting on Aug. 22.

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