View Full Version : Summary of CHRB(Ca.) meeting 8-25-11

08-27-2011, 11:31 AM
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DEL MAR, CA – The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular monthly meeting Thursday, July 21, at Del Mar. Chairman Keith Brackpool presided. Vice Chairman David Israel and Commissioners Jesse Choper, Bo Derek, and Richard Rosenberg were in attendance.

The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief:

· The Board approved a conditional license for the Pacific Racing Association to conduct a race meet at Santa Anita Park from September 30 through November 6. Pacific Racing is a division of the Stronach Group, a newly formed entity comprised of the racing interests of Frank Stronach, which include both Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park. Stronach was granted a waiver this year from a California law that prohibits anyone from owning and operating more than one racetrack in the state unless the Board determines that such multiple ownership better serves the purposes of the Horse Racing Law. The Board imposed conditions on the waiver. One condition was that should Santa Anita apply for any racing dates in addition to its historic winter meet, the CHRB would require a wider distribution of the television signal of Santa Anita’s races, which could be accomplished either by HRTV significantly increasing the distribution of its programming or by Santa Anita providing the signal to all other distribution networks on a non-exclusive basis.

The dates of the Pacific Racing meet at Santa Anita are dates that were historically granted to the Oak Tree Racing Association, which leased Santa Anita for its meet. Thus, the granting of the fall dates to the Stronach Group, not Oak Tree, means that Stronach’s racetrack will be operating more than its traditional winter meet, triggering the condition for wider distribution of its signal. In his presentation to the Board, Scott Daruty, representing Santa Anita, said they have not yet completed any deals to expand the distribution of HRTV’s televised coverage of Santa Anita’s races. Alternatively, he said Santa Anita plans to provide free but limited Internet streaming of HRTV programming, accessible primarily on PCs.

The commissioners, noting that Oak Tree’s races traditionally were widely shown via the TVG network, said the proposed distribution plan for the upcoming meet at Santa Anita would be reduced distribution rather than increased distribution, so therefore would not meet the condition of the waiver. Accordingly, the Board approved a conditional license for Pacific Racing “subject to distribution of the live programming signal to the satisfaction of the CHRB Chairman and Executive Director.”

· The Board approved a joint request by Los Alamitos and the horsemen’s group at Los Alamitos to restrict the use of clenbuterol at the Orange County racetrack by prohibiting for one year its presence at any level in test samples collected from horses that run. The request was unopposed and widely supported by the quarter horse industry. Clenbuterol will be allowed to continue being used on the racetrack as a bronchodilator to treat lower respiratory disease, but Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, said the recommendation to veterinarians and horsemen will be to not administer clenbuterol within 30 days of a race in order to make certain the drug will completely clear the horse’s system prior to testing. Four of the commissioners approved the request, while Vice Chairman Israel abstained because he wanted to “send the message that this restriction needs to be expanded immediately to include thoroughbred racing,” as recommended during the discussion by trainer John Shirreffs. Chairman Brackpool, pointing out that the agenda item did not specifically include thoroughbreds, said the Board’s Medication and Safety Committee would consider this issue with input from the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT)

· The Board approved the application by the Original Roadhouse Gill to operate a minisatellite wagering operation in the Santa Maria restaurant, which will fill the void created by the voluntary closure of the satellite operation in Santa Maria long operated by the 37th District Agricultural Association. The Roadhouse Grill will offer pari-mutuel wagering in a section of the restaurant with a seating capacity of 220, including 12 tables. This will be the third minisatellite to open in California, along with the Commerce Club in the City of Commerce and the OC Tavern in San Clemente.

· Rick Baedeker, a consultant for Southern California Off Track Wagering Inc, said he anticipates three more minisatellite applications before the end of the year. He mentioned Wake Forest, Corona, and Temecula as possible locations. The commissioners encouraged the expansion of simulcast wagering in California and will place this matter on an upcoming agenda for continued discussion.

· The Board approved the license for the Big Fresno Fair to conduct a race meet in Fresno from October 6 through October 16.

· The Board approved the license application for the Pacific Racing Association to conduct a race meet from October 19 through December 18 at Golden Gate Fields.

· Scott Daruty, president of Monarch Content Management, which negotiates the distribution of racing signals for California thoroughbred racetracks, described plans to expand the distribution of the signal in foreign markets, especially Latin American countries. He predicted the increased distribution and resulting simulcasting agreements would eventually generate an additional $5 million to $6 million in revenue for California racing interests.

· The California Marketing Committee provided a brief report regarding its 2011 operating budget. The commissioners voiced support for some of the programs and questioned the need for at least one of the CMC programs.

· The Board approved the distribution of $136,770 in race day charity proceeds by the Los Angeles Turf Club to 31 beneficiaries.

· The Board approved the nominations to the Board of Directors of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (CTHF) of Ken Smole, Robert Hartman, David Naftzger, George Nicholaw, Robert Bean, and John Garcia. Chairman Brackpool agreed to include on an upcoming Board agenda a discussion of CTT concerns over certain aspects of CTHF operations. The CTHF provides medical, dental, and vision care to workers in California horse racing.