‘The Ship Is Sinking’: CHRB Members Argue For Fewer Race Dates

by | 07.22.2017 | 9:55am
Del Mar racetrack

The California Horse Racing Board had its second discussion in 2017 regarding a reduction in race dates, and, once again, received significant pushback from those in attendance at a committee meeting on Friday. According to bloodhorse.com, executive director Rick Baedeker presented the CHRB with three different calendars, each of which would reduce racing by 17-18 days.

Thoroughbred Owners of California president and chief executive Greg Avioli stated that the current three-year dates agreement shouldn't be interrupted “just for the sake of changing things,” and was supported by representatives of Santa Anita and Del Mar.

“If you don't make changes and the ship is sinking, you're going to drown,” argued CHRB member George Krikorian. “To me it's questionable as to what would be better until you try it out. … We're here to talk about trying to be proactive, as opposed to being reactive in what we can do, because the trend has been and continues to be reduction of inventory—in the North and the South—and reduction in field sizes. That's just not a healthy situation. We're talking about what we can do together to change that.”

Read more at bloodhorse.com.

The committee meeting followed by one day a full meeting of the CHRB meeting, which is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief:

  • Executive Director Rick Baedeker described significant steps being taken by the CHRB, Del Mar management and other stakeholders to protect horses and riders. In addition to major improvements to the racing surface and maintenance procedures, an increased number of Official Veterinarians and CHRB safety personnel working with track veterinarians are scrutinizing horses entered in races as well as other horses training in the mornings. Horses deemed unfit will not be permitted to run. A complete list of safeguards is posted on the CHRB Website.
  • Rick Baedeker also announced that several new videos focusing on safety in horse racing that should be of interest to the general public will soon be posted on the CHRB Website.
  • The Board approved the license for the California Authority of Racing Fairs to conduct a fair meet at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton from September 20 through October 3. This meet is called “Oak Tree at Pleasanton.”
  • The Board approved the license for the Big Fresno Fair to operate a fair meet in Fresno from October 4 through October 17.
  • The Board approved the license application for Lien Games Racing (OffTrackBetting.com) to conduct Advance Deposit Wagering for 17 months – placing it on the same licensing schedule as other previously approved ADW providers.
  • The Board began the regulatory process for scratching any horse that has not been properly reported within specified time frames as having been gelded. A public hearing on this proposed amendment will be conducted following the required 45-day public notice period.
  • The Board referred to its Legislative Committee for further discussion a proposed regulatory amendment that would prohibit any horse claimed in California from racing in another state until 60 days after the close of the meeting at which it was claimed except in a stakes race.
  • City of Arcadia officials asked the Board to support their effort to obtain a share of wagers placed through ADW accounts while the bettor is physically located at Santa Anita Park. The Board referred the matter to legal counsel to review current law in this regard.
  • Representatives of Northern California Off Track Wagering Inc. (NOTWINC) gave a presentation on the organization's operations and responsibilities, including its efforts to develop new mini-satellites in Northern California.
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