The Special Committee on Northern California Racing will hold two meetings in coming weeks to resolve stabling issues during the fair season this summer. The first, private meeting with representatives of Golden Gate Fields, the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF), the Sonoma County Fair and horsemen is scheduled for Thursday, March 29, in hopes of bringing those parties to agreement. The second meeting, which will be open to the public, is scheduled the following Thursday, April 5, at Golden Gate.
The Committee held a public meeting Thursday (March 22) at Golden Gate that was attended by about 50 trainers and owners, most of whom expressed approval when Alan Balch, executive director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, said it is crucial for Golden Gate to remain open for auxiliary stabling during the fair season. They disagreed with a CARF proposal to rely solely on stalls at fair locations in Pleasanton, Sacramento and Fresno for auxiliary stabling. The parties still are at least $2,000 a day apart in negotiations over what CARF would pay Golden Gate to provide stabling during the summer.
The California Horse Racing Board is authorized under California law to settle disputes over stabling issues. Committee Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioner Fred Maas made it clear that if stakeholders do not reach agreement by the April 5 meeting, they will make a recommendation for the full Board to consider at the April 19 regular meeting.
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