DEL MAR, Calif. (July 21, 2014) – The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Friday, July 18, in the Del Mar Surfside Race Place. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. 1st Vice Chair Bo Derek, 2nd Vice Chair Richard Rosenberg and Commissioners Madeline Auerbach, Steve Beneto, Jesse Choper and George Krikorian 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 the license application for the Los Angeles County Fair race meet at Los Alamitos Race Course commencing September 5 through September 23. This is the first year that the meet will be conducted outside of Pomona and away from the Los Angeles County Fair itself. Paid admissions to either of the events – the fair in Pomona or the races at Los Alamitos – will provide free access to the other. Fair patrons will be able to wager on the races at Los Alamitos at various wagering locations inside the fairgrounds.
- The Board approved the license application of the Los Angeles Turf Club to conduct a thoroughbred meet at Santa Anita Park commencing September 26 through November 2. This meet will host the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1. The Stronach Group is currently replacing the surface of the Santa Anita main track and making other capital improvements to the facility that will be completed before the start of the fall meet.
- The Board approved the license application for the San Joaquin County Fair to operate a fair meet in Stockton commencing September 19 through September 28. As this meet will not be run concurrently with the overall fair, management is working with local businessmen to stage a “Western Festival” the first weekend of the race meet and a “Mexican Fiesta” the second weekend.
- Tom Ludt, president of Santa Anita, reported that the consecutively run historic winter meet and the newly added spring meet had a combined handle of more than $1 billion and that the spring meet alone handled $375 million, up substantially from the corresponding dates previously run at Hollywood Park.
- Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the just-concluded thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos, reported averages of $6,347,000 in handle and attendance of 3,566. He said that although in many aspects the meet was very successful, there were some aspects that didn’t go as well as expected and that they would learn from the experience to achieve greater success in future thoroughbred meets. McKinzie expressed great satisfaction that not one horse or rider hit the ground during the entire meet.
- Representatives of the Oak Tree Racing Association and the California Authority of Racing Fairs reported on their first three-way partnership with the Alameda County Fair in running the Oak Tree meet at Pleasanton. The meet was a big success overall and total handle was up 2 percent from the previous year’s Alameda County Fair meet.
- The Board approved a revision to the safety steward contract for fiscal year 2014-15 in order to add David Nuesch and Richard Lewis to the list of those eligible for assignments in the current fiscal year. Nuesch and Lewis recently passed the safety stewards examination along with Brian Conner and Paul Atkinson. Chairman Winner, who participated in the interviews, praised all four successful candidates and said their availability for assignments greatly strengthens the safety steward program.
- The Board authorized the Pacific Racing Association to distribute $79,672 in race day charity proceeds to 11 beneficiaries.
- CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker updated the commissioners and industry stakeholders on significant developments over the past month. He advised that Cal Expo fulfilled its promise to provide upgraded sleeping quarters for backstretch employees prior to the start of the State Fair meet. He reported on more stringent requirements for quarter horses to have a negative Coggins test. He also reported that in the month of June, total business at all California race meets was up 5.66 percent and year-to-date up 3.3 percent.