Zieralski: David Israel in Hot Water Over Board Meeting Behavior

by | 05.26.2013 | 9:55am
David Israel

California Horse Racing Board chairman David Israel is facing criticism following a meeting on Thursday in which he rapidly lost control of the participants, and then himself, swapping professional decorum for F-bombs. Although the meeting was ultimately a productive one (for everyone but the California Thoroughbred Trainers), writes Ed Zieralski of the San Diego Union-Tribune, his behavior is a sharp contrast to predecessor Keith Brackpool.

Israel's professional experience ranges from a sportswriter to a producer, and although his “qualifications for being a horse racing board chair don't resonate on his resume,” according to Zieralski, fellow commissioner Jesse Choper said Israel “puts a lot of effort into the job. No one can deny that, whether they like his style or don't like his style.”

Israel's ‘style' included an apology to critics of his behavior by way of a tweet referencing Samuel L. Jackson's profane reading of a spoof on a children's bedtime story “Go The (Bleep) To Sleep.”

Israel will be leaving in January at the end of his appointment by ex-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's not soon enough for Zieralski.

“Is Israel the kind of person the industry wants to deal with at such a critical time in California's horse racing history?” asks Zieralski. “Does Gov. Jerry Brown want Israel and his offensive demeanor to represent him as chair of such an important state board that in the next few months will decide the future of horse racing in this state for a long, long time to come? Maybe a more level-headed person like Chuck Winner, the CHRB's vice chairman, ought to take over, or at the very least, get a bar of soap out to protect all us “delicate souls” from future F-bombs and Samuel L. Jackson tweets.”

Read more at the San Diego Union-Tribune

  • Andrew A.

    David Israel was way out of line droppin F-bombs and a few other profanities during the meeting. The stunning part is that he did not apologize for using that language and then later tweeted a Samuel Jackson You Tube video taking a shot at people who thought he was out of line. And guess what? The video uses the F-bomb too.

  • Denise Steffanus

    Perhaps Mr. Israel has a limited vocabulary, necessitating repeated use of one of the only words he knows.

  • Scott Ramsay

    Don’t forget . . . . this jerk is also Baffert’s best buddy at the track. The guy covering for him. And Pegram.

    Any one else wonder why there won’t be any game left in California in a couple years? Pegram and Baffert want to take it for all its worth while it’s easy, and then just move on. Interesting how the pickings aren’t so easy anywhere else, whether Breeders Cup (even in California with its tight surveillance) or anywhere outside California.

  • Red Rider

    Perfect. Could not be more in step with the nature and state of CA racing.

    Arnie was a joke, and made a joke out of everything he touched. Isreal is truly the governor’s representative. Don’t expect anything better from JB unless you’re thinking scotch.

  • Guy Fleegman1

    Some more nails in the coffin of California Horse Racing.

  • Appolos Coleman

    I applaud Scott Ramsay’s last comment. He has the guts to tell it like it is when everyone else not only looks the other way, but applauds Baffert as a HALL of FAME trainer. I have always viewed him as a Hall of Shame chemist.


    The CHRB is rally missing the boat!! Jesse Choper is the very best person for the job as chairman of the CHRB. Get to know him as I have and you will agree.

  • bluespur

    Money can’t buy dignity, integrity or class.

  • Nancy Taylor

    As long as the CHRB just rubber stamps every terrible idea the TOC comes with, California horse racing is in deep trouble. Sadly, it doesn’t matter who runs these meetings. One breath of fresh air however, was board member George Krikorian, who appeared to be skeptical of Pegram and Israel’s attempt to strong arm their agenda past the trainers group and others that disagreed with them. Don’t know why the TOC is so against allowing at least some trainers to stable at Fairplex if they wish. This location is far more convenient for some than having to train so far away. Yes, Fairplex will cost more up front, but vanning in from SLR or Los Al to race at SA will also be far more expensive later. Seems to me, anything to keep trainers from leaving the state (like John Sherriffs) is critical in keeping the horse inventory from dropping any further than it has. Unless the TOC/CHRB can start making decisions based on the greater good rather than their self-serving “me first” history, the long term outlook for the industry is bleak.

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