CHRB Statement on Backstretch Security

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Apr. 4, 2013) -- In response to an inquiry, CHRB Chairman David Israel provided the following statement to the New York Times early Wednesday, part of which was published in a later article. As indicated in the statement, Chairman Israel intends for the Board to fully explore the issue of backstretch security, including but not limited to surveillance of horses entered to run. This process will include public discussions of the various security elements and methods of financing them. At the conclusion of this process, the Board could adopt regulations pertaining to backstretch security. Any contractual agreements between horsemen and associations would then be required to comply with any regulations so adopted.

THE STATEMENT: “The CHRB will take up the issue of backstretch security in the coming months. The Board's goal is enhanced security and safety for every barn, every stall, every horse, every race. We value the safety and welfare of the Thursday afternoon maiden claiming horse every bit as much as we value the safety and security of the Saturday afternoon stakes champion. That said, under current procedure, surveillance is a contractual matter between Santa Anita and the Thoroughbred Owners of California. Any agreements they come to or decisions they make will be independent of the CHRB."

(Concerning the 72-hour surveillance since instituted by Santa Anita, with TOC approval, for horses entered in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby, the CHRB is providing ancillary support, including out-of-competition testing and testing of syringes used to administer bleeder medication, all in addition to the CHRB’s normal, comprehensive drug testing program.)