BERKELEY, Calif. (Apr. 18, 2015) -- The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, April 16, at Golden Gate Fields. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. First Vice Chair Bo Derek, Second Vice Chair Richard Rosenberg and Commissioners Madeline Auerbach, Steve Beneto, and Jesse Choper 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 adjusted the 2015 racing calendar, reflecting a compromise reached between Golden Gate Fields and the fairs. Golden Gate will conduct a meet from August 19 through September 7, followed by meets at Stockton (September 11-20), Golden Gate (September 24-October 4), Fresno (October 8-18), and Golden Gate (October 22-December 20).
- CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker reported that two rule changes pertaining to use of the riding crop (formerly called whip) and horses on the veterinarian’s list will go into effect July 1. The Board approved the riding crop amendment in November, so California jockeys have had six months to adjust for the coming prohibition against using the riding crop more than three times in succession without giving the horse a chance to respond. Violations will result in discipline to the jockeys, but not the disqualification of horses.
- The Board approved for 45-day public notice an amendment to establish violation and penalty guidelines for excessive cobalt in blood samples. Because cobalt is a naturally occurring trace element that is present in food and vitamins, it was necessary to establish threshold levels of 25 and 50 nanograms for violations with penalty guidelines corresponding to the levels detected.
- The Board gave final approval to a rule pertaining to possession of an electrical device, requiring revocation of license if the Board determines that a licensee violates or conspires to violate this rule, in which case the matter also will be referred to the district attorney for possible criminal charges.
- Representatives of Golden Gate reported on their marketing plans for the future with an emphasis on establishing a brand image with which customers will better identify. Several members of the Board raised questions about the extent to which the plan calls for outreach to increase attendance and handle.
- Executive Director Baedeker reported that a voluntary microchip program for the identification and tracking of horses will begin May 5 at Golden Gate.
- The Board approved for 15-day public notice a proposed regulatory amendment prohibiting any horse that is on the veterinarian’s list in another racing jurisdiction from starting in a race in California without prior approval of the stewards.
- The Board approved the license application for the Oak Tree Racing Association at the Alameda County Fair meet in Pleasanton from June 17 through July 7.
- Vice Chair Rosenberg reported on the April 8 meeting of the Pari-Mutuel, ADW and Simulcast Committee. The four-hour meeting covered such pari-mutuel matters as late odds changes, handle trends at simulcast facilities, efforts to open new mini-satellites, and a proposal to post ticket details of significant winning wagers (e.g. solo winning Pick 6 tickets).
- The Board authorized the distribution of $4,600 in race day charity proceeds by Watch and Wager LLC Racing Association to six beneficiaries.
- The Board authorized the California Exposition and State Fair to install the Mawsafe Rail System at Cal Expo.