Cal Expo Still Seeking Operator

Published: April 27, 2012 08:45 pm EDT

Representatives of Cal Expo and harness horsemen provided an update on continuing efforts to find an operator for the harness meet at Cal Expo at the California Horse Racing Board meeting Thursday, April 26 held at Hollywood Park


Representatives indicated that no deal has yet been made. The Board took no action on the allocation of harness dates for the latter half of this year.

In other actions an discussions during the meeting, the Board approved a rule change extending the length of time that a major medication violation on a licensee’s record can trigger a more severe penalty for a current violation, as recommended by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

The Board approved a rule change eliminating the requirement that a claimed horse must race at a higher level if the horse is run back within 25 days of the claim, provided the horse did not win the race in which it was claimed. A winning horse still must run for at least 25 per cent more than the amount for which it was claimed if run back within 25 days. Losing horses still may not run back at lower than their claiming prices within 25 days.

The Board voted to ban the use of clenbuterol in quarter horses running at fairs this summer, as jointly requested by the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association (representing horsemen) and the California Authority of Racing Fairs (representing fair operators). The Board previously imposed such a ban – technically a suspension of authorization to use clenbuterol – at Los Alamitos Race Course, also at the request of the PCQHRA and management.

The Board approved a request from the Jockeys’ Guild to amend the Jockeys’ Retirement Plan to allow jockeys to elect a lump sum distribution of the plan account balance if that balance is $5,000 or less. The Jockeys’ Retirement Plan for California licensed jockeys is funded by a portion of revenue from ADW handle.

The Board approved for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment to add the drugs zilpaterol and ractopamine to the prohibited practices list. If approved by the Board at a public hearing following the 45-day public notice period, the amendment will allow for the prosecution of those administering these two drugs even if the horses are not yet entered to run.

The Board approved the license for the Alameda County Fair to conduct a race meet in Pleasanton from June 20 through July 8. The fair will begin live racing on Thursday, June 21, and offer only simulcast wagering on Wednesday, June 20.

Commissioner Choper, chairman of the CHRB Pari-Mutuel/ADW and Simulcast Committee, reported on the previous day’s committee meeting. He said Santa Anita Park is interested in offering Quick Pick wagering – a wager the CHRB prohibited in 2008 when a problem with its programming was discovered. The committee was presented with testimony and reports on testing of the new Quick Pick programming indicating the problem has been corrected. The request to reauthorize the sale of the Quick Pick in California will come before the full Board at a future meeting.

The Board approved for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment to clarify the requirements for accurately filling out claim forms.

Commissioner Chuck Winner, a member of the CHRB Medication and Track Safety Committee, reported on the April 11 meeting of the committee.

The May 24 monthly meeting of the California Horse Racing Board originally scheduled at Golden Gate Fields has been relocated to Hollywood Park on the same date.

(With files from CHRB)