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The Press Box
This section of the website features news reports of special interest to Thoroughbred breeders, owners, trainers and enthusiasts in the Western Region of the United States. Most of the articles listed below are taken from press releases and news alerts issued by racing-related organizations and companies.


Entries after August 2008.



Washington Summer Yearling Sale Tuesday
The following is a Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association press release.
     The 42nd annual Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association Summer Yearling Sale will be held this coming, Tuesday, September 2, with 215 horses cataloged. The sale will get under way at 1 p.m. at the Morris J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion located at Emerald Downs in Auburn.
     The sale features many top local and nationally prominent sires. Among them are members of the final crop of Washington sire-great Slewdledo, offspring of Cahill Road - the sire of back-to-back Longacres Mile (G3) winners The Great Face and Wasserman - yearlings by Washington freshman leader Private Gold. 
     National 2008 freshman sire leaders Chapel Royal, Friends Lake, Cuvee and The Cliff's Edge are also represented. Other national sires of note include Arch, Beau Genius, Cape Canaveral, Cee's Tizzy, Cherokee Run, Cit Zip, Crafty Prospector, Deputy Commander, Five Star Day, Golden Missile, Honour and Glory, In Excess (Ire), Lost Soldier, Marquetry, Military, Monarchos, Orientate, Roar, Salt Lake, Sky Mesa, Steven Got Even, Stormin Fever, Swiss Yodeler, Vicar and Yankee Gentleman. 
     Among the stallions with first crop opportunities cataloged are Grand Reward, Limehouse, Midas Eyes and Offlee Wild.
     From the sale that has brought forth the likes of current stakes stars La Tee (multiple graded stakes-placed in Southern California), unbeaten 2-year old stakes winners Dandy Dora and Ladyledue and graded stakes stars such as Rings a Chime (G1), Tali'sluckybusride (G1), Classy Cara (G2), Makors Mark (G2), The Great Face (G3), Hosco (G3).
     For more information, go to www.washingtonthoroughbred.com, where catalog pages and further information about the sale and the WTBA can be found; or call (253) 288-7878.--August 29.



Barretts Classic I Entry Deadline a Week Away
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The final deadline for entry to the Barretts Classic I Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale, to be conducted on Sunday, October 26, is next Friday, September 5. here for the entry form
     Entries will be screened prior to acceptance for this sale.
     The Breeders Cup World Championships will be conducted at nearby Santa Anita on the Friday and Saturday immediately preceding this auction. You'll find additional information regarding this sale by clicking here.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--August 29.



CHRB Schedules Hearing on Safety Reins
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board will conduct a public hearing September 18 to consider mandating the use of safety reins at California racetracks in order to provide greater protection to riders. The public is encouraged to submit written comments on this proposal by September 8 and to attend the public hearing in Pomona.
     On June 27, the Board approved for 45-day public notice a proposed rule to require the use of safety reins in racing and training in California. Safety reins contain an internal back-up cord connected to the bit, so that if the traditional outer reins break, the jockey or driver can still maintain control of the horse. Safety reins are strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, which helped draft legislation that became Section 19504 of the Horse Racing Law requiring the Board to require the use of safety reins if the Board determines they would provide jockeys and exercise riders greater protection from accidents and injuries than conventional reins.
     Testimony by representatives of the Jockeys' Guild at that June 27 Board meeting focused on how traditional reins sometimes break from continuous wear and from manufacturing defects, placing jockeys at great risk, particularly when this occurs during a race. They demonstrated how safety reins contain an internal cord that is either looped or clipped to the bit, so if the outer reins break, the inner cord that is independently attached to the bit helps the jockey keep control.
     The California Thoroughbred Trainers asked the Board to delay mandating safety reins until national standards are developed through laboratory testing. The CTT was especially concerned about determining the breaking strength of the inner cord, which they consider a safety issue for horses.
     The Board elected to place the proposed rule out for public notice, and asked the various parties to submit additional information addressing the breaking strength of safety reins.
     Written comments should be sent by e-mail to ColleenG@chrb.ca.gov or addressed to Colleen Germek, Regulation Analyst, California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300. Sacramento, CA 95825. The time for the start of the September 18 meeting at Fairplex Park will be posted on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov) at least 10 days beforehand. An audio link to the meeting will be available on the CHRB website.--August 28.



Northern California Sale Turns Down Sharply
     Fears that the sagging national economy and the weakness of the Thoroughbred industry would harm the CTBA's Northern California yearling sale were realized Tuesday at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.
     The average for the fifth renewal of the sale fell 23.3 percent, from $5,838 to $4,535, and the median fell 37.5 percent, from $4,000 to $2,500. The average was 44.6 percent below the average of $8,192 recorded in 2006, the high-water mark since the sale's return to Northern California in 2004.
     The 2008 gross was 47.5 percent lower than it was a year ago, $471,700 vs. $899,200. Only 55.6 percent of those that entered the ring emerged as sold compared with 65 percent in 2007.
     A $37,000 Salt Lake filly consigned by Green Acres Stable, agent for Lercari Thoroughbreds, was the sale's high-seller, purchased by Super Horse, Inc., of Newport Beach. Bred by Betty and Larry Mabee, she was bought by the Lercaris for $7,200 in last fall's Barretts mixed sale.
     She was the second consecutive sale-topper for Wilton breeders Fred and LeAnn Lercari, whose Siberian Summer colt was the high-seller in 2007.
     The second-highest price was $25,000 for a Vronsky colt bought by Sierra Sunset LLC from the Old English Rancho consignment. He was bred by Old English Rancho and Berumen.
     Two other yearlings sold for $20,000 each--a colt by Lost Soldier bred by John Crook and consigned by Green Acres bought by Sierra Sunset LLC and a High Brite filly bred and consigned by Harris Farms and purchased by Clay Fritz and partners.
     Last year, six yearlings sold for $20,000 or more. A further indication of the lower market was the count of yearlings sold for $10,000 or more--25 in 2007 and only nine this year.
     As expected, the bottom of the market was hit hardest.
     In 2007, 35 horses failed to draw the minimum bid of $1,000. This year it was 45, with 36 of those coming in the final two-thirds of the catalog as the sale lost steam after a promising start.
     Another indication of the absence of buyers at the bottom were the 99 whose final bid--including buybacks and no-bids--was $2,000 or less, 52.9 percent of those that entered the ring. Last year, that number was 90, 38 percent of those offered.
     For complete sale results, click here.--August 26.



CHRB Gets Even Tougher on Steroid Use
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board is stepping up enforcement efforts to protect the wagering public with increased pre-race and out-of-competition testing and by prohibiting horses from running for 30 days after they've been administered anabolic steroids, effective this Friday, August 22.
     "We mean business!" said an obviously angry CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro during Tuesday's meeting of the Medication Committee following a report from the Board's equine medical director that some trainers are continuing to administer anabolic steroids prior to the penalties becoming far more severe on September 4.
     "We will have no sympathy for any owners or trainers who flaunt our rules," agreed Vice Chairman John Harris, who serves on the Medication Committee with Chairman Shapiro.
     None of the owners or trainers was identified during the meeting.
     The CHRB has been phasing in the new prohibition of anabolic steroids in racing horses and the penalties for violations in order to give horsemen fair notice and to allow sufficient time for any previously administered anabolic steroids to completely leave the systems of horses racing in California.
     The process of adopting these new regulations has been in the works for more than a year, and discussed at numerous public meetings. On May 12, the CHRB issued an advisory informing all trainers that testing for anabolic steroids would commence on July 1, and they were advised to stop using those drugs. Any owner or trainer who had a horse test above permitted levels for nandrolone, boldenone, stanozolol, or testosterone during July was sent an unofficial notice of a potential Class 4 violation. Those unofficial notices advised owners and trainers to review their medication procedures and referred the licensees to previous CHRB anabolic steroids advisories.
      On August 1, the CHRB began official enforcement of all regulations for nandrolone, boldenone, stanozolol, and testosterone as written. This step was clearly announced in another CHRB advisory/directive, which was widely reported by the news media. The final phase comes September 4 when penalties will increase for reclassified (Class 3) nandrolone, boldenone, stanozolol, and testosterone, Violations will result in the automatic forfeiture of purse money, and licensees will face possible suspensions and fines.
     Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, reported Tuesday that from 418 tests for anabolic steroids performed in July at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, 38 contained testosterone, nandrolone, stanozolol, or boldenone in excess of authorized levels, and of those, 28 involved two trainers. Significantly, Dr. Arthur also reported that in the last week, anabolic steroids were being administered within three days of racing. He emphasized that with the exception of two trainers, the compliance rate on the Southern California thoroughbred circuit is 97 percent.
     "They're not naïve," said Chairman Shapiro, who later added, "It's shameful that two or three people have taken an abusive approach for personal gain at the expense of the rest of the industry." He further noted that "97 percent of owners and trainers complied with our rules, and they deserve praise, not to be disadvantaged by a few people who chose to ignore the rules."
     Historically, the analysis of blood and urine samples has taken place days after the horses raced, but last year the CHRB also began testing horses in training that were not yet entered to run. Now the Board will be stepping up its use of out-of-competition testing in order to stop violations and protect the public.
     The CHRB maintains a list of sick and injured horses, which is commonly known as "the vet's list." Horses on this list are not eligible to compete in races, and they must demonstrate their complete recovery before they can be taken off of the list. 
     Anabolic steroids are approved by the FDA for use in sick or debilitated horses. State law requires a legitimate medical purpose to prescribe anabolic steroids and further prohibits their use for the purpose of enhancing athletic performance. 
     CHRB anabolic steroid regulations permit the administration of anabolic steroids to sick horses to aid their recovery, but anabolic steroids are not permitted for racing purposes. Therefore, beginning August 22, any horse administered anabolic steroids will be placed on the official CHRB Veterinarian's List for 30 days.
     "During their recovery period, those horses will not be allowed to race," said Chairman Shapiro. "This is reasonable in all respects. It protects the horse, the other participants, and the public.
     "It is a shame," he added, "that apparently a few owners and trainers are not in keeping with the spirit of the industry and the public to abolish steroids."--August 21.



Tour of Seabiscuit's Home to Benefit GEVA
The following is a Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation press release.
The general public is invited to tour Ridgewood Ranch to benefit GEVA, a Northern California Thoroughbred retirement and rehabilitation foundation, Saturday, October 11th.       Friends, fans and supporters of Seabiscuit are invited to tour Ridgewood Ranch, home and final resting place of the horseracing legend in Willits, CA, on Saturday, October 11, and to show their support for Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, an equine retirement foundation operated by Pam Berg in nearby Sonoma County. The event is sponsored by the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation and Willits Chamber of Commerce.
     Berg and a handful of volunteers are rescuing and providing care for injured and retired thoroughbreds so that they may recover and return to riding soundness, just as Seabiscuit once did under his trainer Tom Smith. Tom Smith's nephew James Watkins along with his wife Lucy are both avid supporters of GEVA and help provide sponsorships for individual retired horses. GEVA was founded to provide homes for injured, retired, and abused horses, or horses just in need of a home.
     Reservations must be made in advance at the Willits Chamber of Commerce by calling 707-459-7910 or by visiting www.willits.org.
     Representing the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation will be Jacqueline Cooper, owner and breeder of American Legend Horse Farm, which is working to preserve the Seabiscuit bloodline at Ridgewood, and president of the foundation.
     Nestled in the oak and redwood-studded ranchlands and mountains of Northern California, Ridgewood Ranch was where Seabiscuit recovered after sustaining a suspensory ligament injury. His recuperation set the stage for an electrifying blaze-of-glory career finish at Santa Anita Park that captivated Depression-era America. Owner Charles Howard was also one of the initial investors of Santa Anita Park in 1933.--August 21.



Tranquility Farm Reports Arizona Horses Saved
The following is a Tranquility Farm press release.
     Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of concern and support from every corner of the Thoroughbred world, Tranquility Farm has rescued and removed to safety 36 pregnant broodmares from a feedlot in Phoenix, Arizona. We have also purchased the stallions Seattle Bound, Major Moment, Mr. Bolg, and Lindsey's Roberto. 
     None of this would have been possible without the invaluable assistance of The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Information Agency, Alex Brown website, HRTV, and many others in the racing media who kept this issue in the forefront of public attention and did a magnificent job of updating the situation. Thanks to their faithful reporting horse lovers everywhere have responded with financial aid and the offer of new homes for these abandoned horses. 
     Our next website update will be a listing of all the broodmares that are available for adoption, and a special "Thank You" page to all of our generous supporters. It will take us a few days to care for the mares and match them up with their papers, and your patience is greatly appreciated while we deal with the needs of the horses. 
     New adopters please fill out the adoption application on our website and mark it "Broodmare." If you have already contacted Tranquility Farm and are waiting for a broodmare you will be contacted personally by phone or e mail after August 17.
     Please remember that we still need your help to care for the Warren mares until they are all adopted!--August 15.

For additional information, click here.



Barretts Classic Sale Early-Entry Deadline Near
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The deadline for early bird entry to the Barretts Classic I Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale, to be conducted on Sunday, October 26, is this Friday, August 15. Entries must be postmarked by thats date in order to qualify for the reduced entry fee. Click here for the entry form.
     Entries will be screened prior to acceptance for this sale. The final deadline for entries to this auction is Friday, September 5.
     The Breeders Cup World Championships will be conducted at nearby Santa Anita on the Friday and Saturday immediately preceding this auction. You can find additional information regarding this sale by clicking here.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--August 13.



California Fall Yearling Sale Catalog Now Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The catalog for the 2008 California's Fall Selected Yearling Sale, co-sponsored by Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, is now online and will be mailed soon. 
     This auction of 235 head will be held on Tuesday, September 30, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 11 a.m. 
     The catalog can be viewed now by clicking here
     Submitted photographs of yearlings in the sale catalog will be posted to the Barretts website soon after September 5. 
     Among the stallions represented in the sale catalog are Belong to Me, Benchmark, Bertrando, Bring the Heat, Chapel Royal, Cuvee, Dixie Union, E Dubai, El Corredor, Five Star Day, Grand Reward, Harlan's Holiday, Holy Bull, Include, Indian Charlie, In Excess, Johannesburg, Macho Uno, Marino Marini, Medaglia d'Oro, Mizzen Mast, Momentum, Old Topper, Orientate, Pollard's Vision, Powerscourt, Proud Citizen, Pure Prize, Roar, Roman Ruler, Sky Mesa, Speightstown, Stormy Atlantic, Swiss Yodeler, Taste of Paradise, Toccet, Touch Gold, Tribal Rule, Trippi, Two Punch,  Unusual Heat, Van Nistelrooy and Yonaguska.
     Live interactive bidding on the Fall Yearling Sale will be available to registered bidders.  For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--August 8.



Seabiscuit Double to Appear at State Fair
The following is a California State Fair press release.
     No doubt one of the greatest legends in American racing history, Seabiscuit won the hearts of many during the Great Depression and once again in 2003's critically-acclaimed film, "Seabiscuit."
     The Kentucky-bred Fighting Furrari was a struggling racehorse and with 16 starts and only one win, but a new career was in his cards--Fighting Furrari is a dead ringer for the beloved Seabiscuit and a star was born. He played the part of Seabiscuit in the film.
     This year's fairgoers will get the chance to meet the star thoroughbred that played Seabiscuit at the California State Fair's Cavalcade of Horses from Aug. 15 through Labor Day!
     Ridden by a jockey dressed in Seabiscuit's original silks, the horse will make an appearance each day of the All Breeds Race Meet.
     Additionally, William H. Nichols, former caretaker of the original Seabiscuit and author of  Seabiscuit, the Rest of the Story, will be greeting fair patrons and signing copies of his book at the Cavalcade of Horses.--August 8.



CHRB Issues Advisory on Steroid Rules
The following is a California Horse Racing Board advisory.

Date      :     August 7, 2008

To          :     All Horsemen and Racing Officials

From      :     Kirk Breed
Executive Director

Subject  :     ANABOLIC STEROIDS ADVISORY

     On July 17, the California Horse Racing Board adopted a regulatory amendment moving stanozolol, boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone from Class 4 to Class 3 and from Category D to Category B penalties. The California Office of Administrative Law now has completed its review and given final State approval to that regulatory amendment.
     The CHRB will begin enforcement of the amended rule with races run September 4, 2008, and thereafter. Stanzolol, boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone will be Class 3 substances with Category B penalties, and the presence of any of these anabolic steroids in the post-race sample above the authorized levels of 1844 (e) (10-14) will result in the automatic disqualification of the horse and redistribution of the purse. Category B penalties call for a minimum 30-day suspension and a fine up to $10,000.
     Through September 3, 2008, stanozolol, boldenone, nandrolone, and testosterone will remain Class 4 violations and Category D penalties. All other anabolic steroids have been Class 2 or Class 3 violations and Category B penalties since July 1, 2008.--July 7.



CHRB Sets Hearings on Two Rule Changes
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board will conduct two public hearings August 19, one on a proposal to uncouple horses in the wagering even if there is some ownership overlap, provided the horses have different trainers, and the second on a regulatory amendment to allow owners to renew their licenses even if they do not own a racehorse at the time of renewal.
     The Board proposes to amend Rule 1606 exempting thoroughbred horses from the coupling requirement if the horses are owned by different partnerships whose compositions are not mirror images, and there is at least one partner with an ownership interest in each of the partnerships, provided the horses have different trainers.
     The uncoupling issue has been discussed at numerous public meetings, and the recommendations range from leaving the rule unchanged to eliminating coupling altogether. The racing commissioners believe the issue should be addressed one step at a time, beginning with this proposal to uncouple some horses even if there is some ownership overlap.
     CHRB Vice Chairman John Harris said the change should create more wagering interests in races and help address concerns raised when one part of an entry is a late scratch, especially when the scratched horse is the heavily favored part of the entry.
     The Board proposes to amend Rule 1505 to provide that an applicant for renewal of a horse owner license whose license is in good standing with the Board may renew such license regardless of whether the applicant currently owns a properly registered racehorse in the care of a licensed trainer.
     Vice Chairman Harris said the "idea is to be more user-friendly.to keep owners in the game and not put up roadblocks for them" by requiring an owner to have a horse at the time of renewal.
     The Board solicits public input at the public hearings and beforehand. Written comments, which must be received by August 4, should be sent by e-mail to harolda@chrb.ca.gov or addressed to Harold Coburn, Regulation Analyst, California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300. Sacramento, CA 95825. The time for the start of the August 19 meeting in the simulcast facility at Del Mar will be posted on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov) at least 10 days beforehand. An audio link to the meeting will be available on the CHRB website.--August 1.



Speakers Listed for TOC's Del Mar Seminar
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     The public is invited to learn the "ins and outs" of racehorse ownership at a free seminar hosted by Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) on Saturday, Aug. 2, in the Veranda Café at Del Mar Racetrack. A panel of experienced horse owners will discuss everything from choosing a trainer to costs of ownership, starting at 8:30 a.m.
     On the same day, another TOC seminar on the same subject will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, starting at 11 a.m.
     Speakers will include Madeline Auerbach, Aron Wellman, and Gayle Van Leer.       Auerbach is best known for her successes with the progeny of her stallion, Unusual Heat. An owner for more than 30 years, she is also a member of the TOC board of directors and serves as its Vice President, Southern California. 
     Wellman, a Southern California attorney, is Racehorse Administrator for Team Valor. Among the stars he has syndicated and managed are graded stakes winners, Valbenny and Three Degrees. 
     Van Leer, a bloodstock consultant, has worked in many capacities in racing, including as racing manager, private trainer, and sales consignor. She is considered an expert in a wide range of fields and spends considerable time volunteering and sharing her knowledge with new and existing owners.
     Following a question and answer session, participants will visit one of three trainers who have graciously agreed to host barn tours - Lewis Cenicola, Doug O'Neill, or Gary Stute.
     Although it is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (800) 994-9909. Del Mar Racetrack is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA  92014.  The Veranda Café is on the Clubhouse level, overlooking the walking ring.
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--July 30.



Swiss Yodeler to Stand at Harris Farms
The following is a Harris Farms press release.
     Swiss Yodeler (Eastern Echo-Drapeau, by Raja Baba), a Grade One stakes winner, and sire of Breeders Cup Sprint Champion  Thor's Echo, has been moved to John C. Harris' farm near Coalinga, Calif. 
     Swiss Yodeler, now 14, was raced and is still owned by Heinz Steinman and was trained by Mike Harrington. Swiss Yodeler won five stakes as a 2-year-old, including the Hollywood Futurity-G1, Hollywood Juvenile-G2 and Best Pal S.-G3, and earned $761,442. He previously stood at Pepper Oaks Farm. 
     Sire of the 2006 Breeders Cup Sprint and Eclipse Award winner Thor's Echo, Swiss Yodeler has consistently been a leading California sire with progeny earnings of $16,626,626. With seven crops of racing age, Swiss Yodeler has sired 19 stakes winners, 35 stakes-placed, 71% starters from foals and 71% winners from starters.
     John Harris commented, "I have always greatly admired Swiss Yodeler and am absolutely delighted to have him standing at our farm. He was a top racehorse and is an outstanding sire. His progeny perform well on all types of track surfaces and at a variety of distances.  He is such a good-looking individual.  I wanted to breed to him the first time I saw him several years ago, and we have bred several mares to him the last few years. We will definitely be sending some of our best mares to him and know that he will do very well here. Anyone looking at him will like him". 
     "We are very honored to now be the only farm in California standing two stallions that have sired champions and Breeders Cup winners--Cee's Tizzy, sire of Tiznow, the only horse to ever win the Breeders Cup Classic twice, and now Swiss Yodeler, sire of Sprint winner Thor's Echo in 1996, both of which were raised at Harris Farms. 
     Heinz Steinman added, "We're very excited about moving Swiss Yodeler to Harris Farms and the support he will receive there. Patricia Youngman and her staff at Pepper Oaks did an excellent job with Swiss Yodeler and we appreciate their contributions to his success."
     Mike Harrington, who purchased Swiss Yodeler as a yearling and trained him throughout his career added, "Heinz and I feel this is a great opportunity to further Swiss Yodeler's career going forward and are pleased to be associated with Harris Farms.  Swiss Yodeler has a great disposition, outstanding confirmation and gets correct foals that can run early and often. His future is very bright."
     Swiss Yodeler's 2009 fee will be announced in September. He joins Cee's Tizzy, High Brite, Redattore, Tizbud, Stormy Jack, Lucky Pulpit, Downtown Seattle and Avanzado at Harris Farms. 
     Inquiries should be directed to Dave McGlothlin at Harris Farms (800-311-6211) or davemcglothlin@harrisfarms.com.


CHRB Issues Advisory About Steroid Tests

The California Horse Racing Board issued the following advisory on Wednesday:

To: All Owners, Trainers, Veterinarians, and Racing Officials

From: Kirk Breed, Executive Director

Subject: DIRECTIVE ON ENFORCEMENT OF ANABOLIC STEROID REGULATIONS

Effective August 1, 2008, the California Horse Racing Board will strictly enforce all regulations concerning anabolic steroids and will no longer issue "unofficial notices" when the test samples reveal unauthorized levels of anabolic steroids. There has been a grace period since testing for anabolic steroids began July 1 to allow for the implementation of new regulations, guidelines, and procedures, but beginning with races run on August 1, 2008, complaints will be filed against trainers or other licensees alleged to have violated the regulations.

Anabolic steroid violations will be handled in the same as all other medication violations.  A notice of positive test will be issued to the licensee, who will have an opportunity to request a split sample analysis.  Upon confirmation of a positive split sample, a complaint will be issued and a hearing date set. The subsequent rulings will be available on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov/rulings) and posted at the stewards offices.

"We are trying to implement this enforcement regulation in the most logical, timely way," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro. "We have given notice to the owners, trainers, veterinarians and other track personnel.  It is part of the process. The administration of all anabolic steroids to horses in competition must stop immediately. Complaints will be issued. The hammer is coming down. In this way, we are protecting the public and all of those who are playing by the rules."

Once the Office of Administrative Law approves the regulatory amendment adopted by the Board on July 17, testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol will become Class III prohibited substances, which will require automatic disqualification and forfeiture of the purse along with any other potential penalties against the licensees involved. All other anabolic steroids already are in Class II or III of prohibited substances, and the use of which are subject to formal complaints and disqualifications.--July 23.



 Barretts October Mixed Sale Deadline Near
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The deadline for entry to the 2008 Barretts October Mixed Sale, to be held on October 27 and 28, is this Friday, July 25.  Entries must be postmarked by that date in order to be considered for this auction.
     You may access the October Mixed Sale entry form in PDF format, along with the Barretts on-line entry system, by clicking here.
     Due to anticipated stabling limitations, entries will be screened prior to acceptance for this sale. 
     Among the early bird entries for this sale are weanlings and/or yearlings by such stallions as Badge of Silver, Benchmark, Bertrando, Bring the Heat, Exchange Rate, Good Journey, Hold That Tiger, In Excess, Marino Marini, Northern Afleet,  Southern Image, Stormy Jack, Swiss Yodeler, Tapit, Tribal Rule, Trippi, Van Nistelrooy, Whywhywhy and Yes It's True.
     Among the broodmares are mares in foal to such stallions as Benchmark, Bertrando, Devil His Due, Good Journey, Gotham City, Halo's Image, In Excess, Jet Wet, Marino Marini, Minsters Wild Cat, Old Topper, Our New Recruit, Roar, Roar of the Tiger, Proud Irish, Sea of Secrets, Southern Image, Stormy Jack, Suances, Tribal Rule, Uncle Denny and Unusual Heat.
    The Breeders Cup World Championships will be conducted at nearby Santa Anita on the Friday and Saturday preceding this auction.  On the Sunday night immediately before the October Mixed Sale, Barretts will conduct it's Inaugural Sale of Selected Horses of Racing Age which will bring extra high-end buyers to the sales grounds.   Entries for this sale will close on September 5, with the early bird entry deadline being August 15.   For more information regarding this sale, please click here. Click here for the entry form for this sale.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--July 23.



TOC Schedules Owner Seminar at Santa Rosa
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     The public is invited to learn the "ins and outs" of racehorse ownership at a free seminar hosted by Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) on Saturday, August 2, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa. 
     The guest speaker will be trainer Steve Sherman, who will join Vic Stauffer, racetrack announcer and host of the popular daily racing handicapping seminars during the fair. Sherman, the son of leading California trainer Art Sherman, has been training horses for more than 10 years. Since going out on his own in January, 2008, he has been consistently in the top five of the Northern California trainer standings, with a 27% win percentage.
     TOC representatives will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about horse ownership, tax considerations, partnerships and contracts, and strategies for running a successful racing business. The seminar will begin at 11 a.m. at Shade Park, adjacent to the grandstand.
     Although it is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (800) 994-9909. The Sonoma County Fairgrounds are located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA, 95403.
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--July 20.



Many Actions at the July CHRB Meeting
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board fulfilled its promise to the public and the industry Thursday by unanimously adopting a regulation that effectively bans anabolic steroids in California horse racing.
     "We are one of the leading states to move forward with this ban. There is no place for anabolic steroids in competition sports, human or equine," noted CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro, who indicated that other industry leaders have been "very appreciative that we are helping lead the way."
     The Board indicated its intentions more than a year ago by taking the first of several regulatory steps designed to ban the administration of anabolic steroids to horses competing in a race. These steps included moving some anabolic steroids into drug and penalty categories that automatically require disqualification and forfeiture of the purse and adopting penalty guidelines calling for stricter sanctions for medication violations. In its latest and final step Thursday, the Board moved the anabolic steroids testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol into a higher classification, so that now, without exception, any steroid violation will result in the disqualification of the horse. And under the new penalty guidelines, such violations could result in a  minimum 30-day suspension.
     Procedurally, the change still must be approved by the Office of Administrative Law,  which could take as long as two months, but the Board fully expects this process to be completed well before the Breeders' Cup World Championships on October 24 and 25 at Santa Anita Park, hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association. The CHRB is working with Breeders' Cup and Oak Tree officials to spread the word that steroids will not be tolerated in what is being described as the first "steroids-free Breeders' Cup."
     On Tuesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger filled two vacancies on the Board with the appointments of Bo Derek and David Israel, bringing the Board to its full complement of seven members. Commissioners Derek and Israel joined with Vice Chairman John Harris, Commissioners Jerry Moss, John Andreini and Jesse Choper, and Chairman Shapiro in voting unanimously to approve the regulatory amendment.
     Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, who worked with Dr. Scott Stanley of the Ken Maddy Laboratory at UC Davis in developing protocols and procedures for the steroids testing that began July 1, noted that until the Office of Administrative Law has completed its review and the regulatory change is fully in place, the Board will continue to send out warnings to horsemen when testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol are detected in official samples. But he cautioned that once the approval process is complete, "we are prepared to take the next step."
     "I hope to see us move forward and close the loop," said Chairman Shapiro. "We have gone out of our way to give everyone fair warning, to address concerns, put out a Q & A, and provide contact information for anyone who still has questions."
     Trainer Christopher Paasch stood and complimented the Board for "moving forward and stopping the steroid abuse." When he went on to advocate tough stands against other drugs as well, Chairman Shapiro and Dr. Arthur assured Paasch and everyone else that the new penalty guidelines that went into effect this month are going to lead to substantial sanctions for medication violations. "It's going to be a different ballgame in the future," said Dr. Arthur.
     The steroids Q & A mentioned by the chairman as well as other news releases and advisories pertaining to steroids, medication rules, and the penalty guidelines can be viewed on the CHRB website under the "News" prompt
     In other business, the Board unanimously adopted a regulatory amendment prohibiting posterior digital neurectomies, or "heel nerving." Any horse that undergoes such a procedure after October 1, 2008, will be prohibited from racing. This prohibition was opposed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California, which believes California should wait for a national policy.
     While acknowledging the TOC position, Chairman Shapiro said it was time for the Board to act, noting, "We should not take any chance that a horse has lost any sensitivity in a foot during a race." Commissioner Moss agreed that for a heel-nerved horse to "go down and cause an accident in a race would be horrible." And Vice Chairman Harris said, "It's time to get this behind us and move on."
     The Board approved two license applications for the San Mateo County Fair, one to operate a mixed-breed fair meet at Bay Meadows from August 6 through August 17, and the other to operate a satellite wagering facility at the San Mateo County Event Center adjacent to Bay Meadows beginning August 20.
     The August 17 conclusion of the San Mateo County Fair meet will mark the end of racing forever at Bay Meadows, which is scheduled for demolition later this year to make way for developing the property for other uses. Fair General Manager Christopher Carpenter said events are planned to honor the history of Bay Meadows and acknowledge its closing.
     Horses will continue to train at Bay Meadows until later in the year. The industry has developed a plan for Board consideration that would shift most of the race dates vacated by Bay Meadows over to Golden Gate Fields, to be run either by the owner of Golden Gate or by the Alameda County Fair, which would lease the facility. The Alameda County Fair would run its races at Golden Gate during development of the Pleasanton racing complex into a year-round training facility.
     The satellite facility will open August 20, three days after the close of the fair meet, replacing the simulcast facility at Bay Meadows, which has ranked fifth in the state for attendance, attracting more than 500,000 simulcast patrons a year. Carpenter said an existing building has been renovated at the Events Center and an adjacent building will provide overflow space. Noting a reduction in wagering terminals allocated for the new facility, Vice Chairman Harris urged Carpenter to make certain there are sufficient terminals to adequately handle the volume experienced at Bay Meadows. He noted that a loss of wagering in Northern California would hurt not only the San Mateo County Fair, but also many other stakeholders.
     The Board also approved license applications for the San Joaquin County Fair meet in Stockton (September 3-14) and the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Fairplex Park in Pomona (September 5-22).
     The Board authorized the distribution of $217,843 in race-day charity proceeds by the Los Angeles Turf Club (Santa Anita) to 40 beneficiaries.
     While clearly signaling their intent to approve, the Board sent two proposed regulatory amendments back out for 15-day public notice with minor changes to the texts, including a proposal to allow thoroughbred horses to race unshod. Notwithstanding, the Board indicated it would suspend the portion of the rule that requires horses to be shod, as long as it is publicly noted in the official program. Both amendments will be brought back to the Board for public hearings.
     Vice Chairman Harris noted that while this proposal to allow horses to race unshod has been around for some time, the installation of synthetic surfaces at the major thoroughbred tracks in California has helped push it forward because some horses appear to be training better without shoes on the new surfaces. The amendment would allow a horse to race unshod if the trainer feels the horse might run better without shoes. Any changes would be noted on the official program.
      The other amendment would mandate $1,000 fines, absent mitigating circumstances, should a trainer fail to declare at time of entry that a horse had been gelded since its last start. It is hoped that increased fines will motivate trainers to pay more attention and provide this information to the public on the official program well before wagering begins. Some commissioners indicated that if the increased fines do not solve the persistent problem of late announcements of first-time geldings, they are prepared to take the more severe step of scratching such horses from their races.--July 19.



CHRB Resolves Quick Pick Betting Problem
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board has reached an agreement with Scientific Games that fully protects the public, provides funds to racing-related charities, and reimburses the State of California for the costs of investigating problems with Quick Pick wagering.
     "Our primary focus has been to protect the integrity of racing and the wagering public," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro. "We have received full cooperation from everyone involved. We have been assured by an independent third party that the problems relating to Quick Picks have been fixed. And Scientific Games has voluntarily agreed to make donations to worthwhile charities that benefit horse racing."
     The agreement results from an investigation that began May 9 after the CHRB discovered and confirmed that due to a programming error, some of Scientific Games' betting terminals were producing Quick Pick tickets that did not include the entire array of runner numbers in their selection. In its investigation, the CHRB determined that Quick Pick wagers were excluding the last numbered wagering interest. Furthermore, the investigation determined that certain technical personnel with Scientific Games had been aware of the programming error since October 2007, but did not disclose it to the CHRB. Scientific Games contracts with all racetracks in California to provide totalizator equipment and services.
     To protect the public from purchasing faulty Quick Pick tickets, the Board immediately issued a cease-and-desist letter to Scientific Games to prohibit the Quick Pick betting option. Scientific Games was able to electronically disable the Quick Pick function on self-service terminals, and this function was disabled manually on teller terminals.
     Under the terms of the agreement approved by the Board during executive session on June 27:
Scientific Games will immediately reimburse the CHRB in the amount of $50,000 for the costs of the investigation into this matter.
Scientific Games will make a voluntary payment of $150,000 to charities benefiting horse-racing-related causes.
Scientific Games will pay refunds to people who placed Quick Pick bets at the BetJet terminals in California between July 1, 2007, and June 2, 2008, as long as the person can establish placement of the bet through legitimate proof, including but not limited to a ticket stub. This commitment will extend until June 2, 2009. Scientific Games will indemnify the CHRB from any such claims.
Scientific Games will provide updates to the CHRB on the status of the implementation of software enhancements that eventually could allow for the reintroduction of Quick Pick wagers.
To further protect the wagering public, Scientific Games has conducted a quality assurance review of its systems and will continue to do so in the future. The company will report the results of these reviews to the CHRB.
No further administrative action relating to this matter will be taken by the CHRB against Scientific Games or its affiliated companies, directors, officers, or employees.
The CHRB shall immediately renew Scientific Games license for one year.

     As part of the CHRB investigation, and prior to the Board approving the agreement, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, which is the security arm of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, performed an independent review and verified that the programming changes made by Scientific Games have made the wager completely random. However, the CHRB has not as yet authorized the industry to resume selling Quick Pick tickets.--July 9.
 



CHRB Asks Comment on No-Shoes Proposal
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     Should horses be allowed to run without shoes if a trainer feels the horse might perform better unshod? The California Horse Racing Board will be considering this option July 17 at Del Mar and is soliciting comments from the public by July 14.
     The issue was first raised by the California Thoroughbred Trainers at a meeting of the CHRB Medication Committee last November. CTT Executive Director Ed Halpern indicated there had been sentiment among some trainers "for a long time to allow horses to race unshod, but with the introduction of synthetic tracks, the idea has gained support for moving forward. Some horses are more comfortable without shoes."
      Dr. Diane Isbell, one of the CHRB's official veterinarians, provided some details during a special meeting on February 20 that focused on synthetic surfaces. Dr. Isbell, was among seven veterinarians on a panel that discussed the safety of synthetic surfaces in terms of injuries to horses.
     "We have much sounder horses (on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields) and I'm finding that we have a lot less joint filling in the horses on pre-race (examinations) than we do when we have the sealed surfaces," explained Dr. Isbell, who went on to say, "What we've found with the synthetic surfaces is the foot does not have the slip that it had with the dirt surface."
     Dr. Isbell continued, "A number of trainers in Northern California are starting to train their horses barefoot. There are an increasing number of trainers doing that (and those horses are) working as well or better as they did when they had shoes on. We do know from research work that the bare foot is better able to utilize the internal shock absorption system of the horse, which does help to take some of the stress off the legs."
     Dr. Isbell later added, "We have an opportunity to make some beneficial changes for our horses, and there is something that the Board could do and could do very quickly that would be quite beneficial for the welfare of our horses, and that is to allow (horses) to race barefoot. I would urge you to make that a priority and get that done as soon as possible."
     The official program will note when any horse adds or removes shoes. To date, the CHRB has heard no testimony in opposition to allowing horses to race unshod. Written comments should be addressed to: Harold Coburn, Regulation Analyst, California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300. Sacramento, CA 95825. For additional details, he can be reached at (916) 263-6397 or Fax: (916) 263-6022 or e-mail.
     The public hearing will be held July 17 in the Surfside Room simulcast wagering facility on the Del Mar fairgrounds. The Board meeting will begin at 10 a.m. A full agenda for the meeting is available on the CHRB website. The audio of the meeting can be heard through a link on the CHRB website.--July 8.



TOC Re-Elects Five Directors, Adds a New One
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     TOC's membership elected Brian Boudreau and re-elected Bob Bone, Billy Koch, and Donald Valpredo, in the "owner" member category.  Also re-elected were Ron Ellis and Phil Oviedo as "owner-trainer" member representatives. The new Board takes office on July 1st. 
     Boudreau, an owner and breeder, has lived and worked on his Malibu Valley Farms in Calabasas since 1978. He bred California champion 2-year-old filly Humorous Lady and Crackup, the runner-up for champion 2-year-old colt honors that same year. 
     He also campaigned Sicy d'Alsca, Regal Thunder, and Hegemony. Among his goals as a TOC director, he hopes to help bolster Thoroughbred ownership in California through reorganization of the purse structure and expansion of the state owners' awards.
     Bone, a California native, became an owner in 1990 and now has more than 50 horses with ten different trainers. He was voted Owner of the Year by the TOC membership for 2003, 2004, and 2005, and currently serves on TOC's Racing Affairs Committee.
     Also a native Californian, Valpredo has been a TOC director since 2000 and involved in California breeding and racing since 1963. Valpredo serves on TOC's Racing Affairs Committee and chairs the Legislative & Government Affairs Committee.
     Koch has been a member of the TOC board for the past three years and currently serves on the Executive Committee as its Secretary and as Chair of the Owner Relations, Marketing, and Industry Affairs Committee. Born and raised in Southern California, he was introduced to racing by his grandfather, late Hollywood producer Howard W. Koch. In 2001, Koch created Little Red Feather Racing, which currently manages 19 horses.--July 1.



CHRB Seeks to Continue 'Open' ADW Policy
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     With a very popular and successful account wagering experiment scheduled to end July 13, the California Horse Racing Board has authorized Chairman Richard B. Shapiro and Vice Chairman John Harris to meet with the racetracks, horsemen, and the four licensed Advance Deposit Wagering companies in an effort to have the experiment continue for the balance of this year's racing calendar.
     Testimony at the monthly CHRB meeting Friday was unanimously in support of continuing to allow all ADW accountholders to wager on all California races regardless of whether they use XpressBet, TVG, YouBet, or TwinSpires. Many speakers cited strong sentiment from fans for continuing to offer open wagering.
     Furthermore, the wagering data since the experiment began November 7 shows increases in all ADW categories. Average daily ADW wagering within California was up 8 percent for all venues over the last seven months, and average out-of-state ADW wagering on California races increased 10 percent. Average daily ADW handle jumped 48 percent during the Santa Anita meet.
     TVG has exclusive agreements for the upcoming meets at Del Mar, Fairplex, and Oak Tree that would need to be waived in order for other ADW companies to accept wagers on those races, so TVG's support for a continuation of the experiment beyond the close of the Hollywood Park meet is essential. John Hindman, general counsel for TVG, said his company is willing to continue the experiment under certain conditions.
     "TVG supports continuation of the experiment based on a fair exchange of ADW rights," Hindman read from a PowerPoint presentation. He said TVG would continue exchanging wagering content "at fair prices."
     Chairman Shapiro and Vice Chairman Harris will arrange a meeting with the stakeholders during the week of July 7 to try to facilitate an agreement. "Everyone wants open wagering to continue. The key will be trying to find the combination that will enable that to happen," the chairman explained afterwards. "We owe it to our fans to make this happen. They should come first. And given the success of open wagering so far, I can't see any reason why it shouldn't continue."
     Ron Charles, president of Santa Anita, said it's a "no-brainer" to continue the experiment. "The fans are behind it 100 percent."
     The Thoroughbred Owners of California adamantly supports continuing the experiment, as they foresee increases in purses and track commissions from open wagering. "We believe the continuation of the experiment would serve the interests of everyone, including ADW providers," said TOC President Drew Couto.
     Couto advised that if the ADW experiment does not continue past July 13, the TOC will require each ADW company to negotiate terms of an individual agreement with the TOC, through the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group (THG), in return for the required horsemen's consent for out-of-state ADW wagering on California races. Couto also clarified the TOC's relationship with THG, an organization that has been negotiating with racetracks and simulcast marketing companies on behalf of horsemen in other states. "THG is our broker agent," explained Couto. "Authority over California account wagering rights will continue to reside with California owners through the TOC."
     In other business, Hollywood Park President Jack Liebau said the Inglewood facility would continue operating at least through the 2009 spring-summer meet, provided the CHRB allocates those historic dates to Hollywood Park. The commitment was outlined in a progress report from the industry to the Board indicating the status of planning and negotiations for training and racing over the next two years. Hollywood Park also has agreed to give at least six-months notice, should they decide to cease operations following that spring-summer meet. The owner of Hollywood Park is in the process of acquiring entitlements for the development of the Inglewood property into residential and/or commercial uses.
     As envisioned by the industry, Fairplex Park will be expanded into a major year-round training facility, provided that adequate financing and business arrangements can be put into place. The Board was assured that the industry's full plan for training and racing in Southern California will be completed before the Board considers the 2009 racing calendar in September or October.
     Liebau, who is also the president of Bay Meadows, said racing would end at the San Mateo property with the conclusion of the San Mateo County Fair meet on August 18, but it is unclear how long training might continue this year "to accommodate horsemen." The owner of Bay Meadows has obtained all of the required permits to begin converting the property for other uses on September 1.
     The industry submitted a draft calendar to the Board for 2009 racing in Northern California. The proposal shifts most of the dates vacated by Bay Meadows over to Golden Gate Fields, to be run either by MEC, which is the owner of Golden Gate, and/or the Alameda County Fair, which would lease the facility from MEC. The Alameda County Fair would run its races at Golden Gate during development of the Pleasanton racing complex into a year-round training facility. The industry is continuing to work out the details of the summer fair racing circuit for Northern California.
     Two agenda items pertaining to a proposed 1-percent increase in the takeout for wagering on fair races were withdrawn from consideration. However, the Board recognized that it is critically important that additional funding be found that will facilitate contemplated improvements at both Fairplex and the Alameda County Fair to allow for expanded stabling and racing at those facilities.
     Vice Chairman Harris expressed concerns that a comprehensive plan was needed for improvements at the fair facilities, and the fans should not be solely burdened by an increase in takeout, having previously indicated, "If something isn't selling well, raising the price is not the answer."
     The Board approved for 45-day public notice a proposed rule to require the use of safety reins in racing and training in California. Safety reins contain an internal back-up cord connected to the bit, so that if the traditional outer reins break, the jockey or driver can still maintain control of the horse. Safety reins are strongly endorsed by the Jockeys' Guild, which helped draft legislation that became Section 19504 of the Horse Racing Law requiring the Board to require the use of safety reins if the Board determines they would provide jockeys and exercise riders greater protection from accidents and injuries than conventional reins.
     The Board approved the license application for the California Exposition and State Fair to conduct a mixed-breed meet from August 7 through September 1, marking the return of traditional summer fair racing to Sacramento for the first time since 2004. Harness meets have been run in recent summers at Cal Expo. Harness racing is currently being run at Cal Expo, through August 2, and will return September 12 following the fair meet.
     "We're back in business," said David Elliot, assistant general manager at Cal Expo. "We're doing a lot of work and spending a lot of money getting the racetrack as safe as possible for thoroughbred (and mixed breed) racing this summer."
     Vice Chairman Harris complemented Cal Expo for returning to the mixed-breed meet and described it as a very sound decision. He had opposed the move to an all-harness season from the onset.
     The Cal Expo racing schedule includes two entire programs on Friday, August 22, with the first program scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. and the second at 5:45 p.m.
     The Board approved the license application for the Humboldt County Fair to conduct a mixed-breed meet in Ferndale from August 7 through August 17. Both Chairman Shapiro and Vice Chairman Harris commented that going forward, the Board and industry should consider eliminating some of the overlapped dates that Ferndale historically has run with other racetracks.
     The Board authorized the Oak Tree Charitable Foundation to distribute $78,213 in race-day charity proceeds to 21 beneficiaries.--July 1.



CHRB to Evaluate Non-Exclusive ADW Results
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The eight-month experiment that has opened up thoroughbred racing to all Advance Deposit Wagering providers in California will be a major topic of discussion when the California Horse Racing Board meets Friday, June 27, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.
     The experiment is scheduled to end with the close of the current Hollywood Park meet on July 13, but the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has asked for it to extend at least through its summer meet. TVG, which currently has an exclusive agreement with Del Mar, has not as yet agreed to waive the agreement, a prerequisite for continuing the experiment.
     In other important business, the Board will be considering requests from various fairs to increase their takeout by 1 percent, as authorized by a new state law subject to CHRB approval. And the Board will hear reports concerning progress and planning for thoroughbred racing alternative racing schedules and options in Northern and Southern California.
     At the conclusion of the regular monthly meeting, the racing commissioners, staff, and industry leaders will participate in a legislative day, which will include lunch with members of the California Legislature, the presentation of resolutions, and a winner's circle ceremony.
     For those who cannot attend the Board meeting, an audio link will be available on the CHRB website beginning at 9 a.m.
     As announced last November by CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro, the industry stakeholders reached an accord to permit non-exclusive ADW wagering, so that "fans wagering on California racing (could) use the licensed platform of their choosing."
     Following intense negotiations late last year involving the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), Hollywood Park, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Santa Anita Park, TVG, XpressBet, TwinSpires, and YouBet, the parties reached an agreement that began November 7 with the opening of the Hollywood Park and Golden Gate Fields fall meets. The agreement temporarily ended the exclusivity agreements that prevented fans from using one ADW account for wagering at all California racetracks.
     Jack Liebau, president of Hollywood Park and Bay Meadows, recognizing the inconvenience to the wagering public of having separate accounts for wagering on all California tracks, described the agreement at the time as a "new dawn for ADW wagering in California."
     Chairman Shapiro has asked all stakeholders to attend Friday's meeting to provide their views and perspectives on the experiment. "The purpose of this discussion is to determine if the experiment should continue through the remainder of the year, if possible," explained the chairman.
     Vice Chairman John Harris wrote in his own communication to industry leaders, "As we all know, the only increasing revenue sector for horse racing is Advance Deposit Wagering. Horse racing is the only game one can legally bet on at home, or essentially anywhere with an Internet connection. Tremendous potential exists. I would like to see the complete results of how (the experiment) is all working out, but intuitively more distribution and opportunity for account holders to wager on California races seems like a good idea."
     In a recent development, the TOC announced it had assigned the account wagering rights of California horse owners to the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, allowing the THG to conduct negotiations on the TOC's behalf with ADW companies.
     Concerning the requests for increasing the takeout by 1 percent, the Board has received requests from the Los Angeles County Fair and from the California Authority of Racing Fairs on behalf of the Alameda, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, Fresno, San Joaquin, and Humboldt County Fairs. The new law authorizes an additional 1 percent in takeout from wagers on fair races, provided the additional revenue is used solely for the maintenance and improvement of the fairs' racetrack facilities, subject to CHRB approval.--June 25.



CHRB Ready to Stiffen Steroid Penalties
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board will vote next month on regulatory changes that would result in stricter penalties for anabolic steroids violations - the latest step in the Board's commitment to eliminating anabolic steroids in California horse racing. The CHRB is soliciting comments from the public prior to a July 17 public hearing at Del Mar. Written comments, pro or con, must be received by July 14.
     In earlier actions, the Board in effect banned all anabolic steroids in racing except for testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol by placing all of the other steroids in Class 2 or 3 penalty categories, which call for severe sanctions for violations, including automatic forfeiture of the purse and minimum 30-day suspensions for first-time offenders. 
     Under penalty guidelines to be implemented this July 1, testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol temporarily are listed in Class 4. The regulations currently noticed to the public that the Board will vote on July 17 will move those four anabolic steroids into the stricter Class 3 penalty category.
     The move to ban all anabolic steroids in California racing and the reclassification of all steroids into more serious penalty categories has been discussed at many meetings of the Board and its Medication Committee. All testimony to date has been in support of the Board's efforts. No one has spoken publicly in opposition to this commitment to eliminate anabolic steroids from California racing.
     A Jockey Club committee last week advocated the elimination of steroids in racing throughout the United States by the end of the year. If the proposed amendments are approved by the CHRB next month, the regulatory changes will complete that process in California - well ahead of most other racing jurisdictions.
     "Clearly, there is no place for anabolic steroids in horse racing," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro in testimony June 19 during a Congressional hearing on thoroughbred racing held by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Some of the representatives on the Congressional Subcommittee are pushing for greater regulation of medications, particularly steroids, so the CHRB's efforts in that regard are timely.
     Horses with a medical need for anabolic steroids still could be treated, but sufficient time must pass afterwards for the administered drug to clear the system, otherwise a positive test could result. The rules take into account that certain steroids are naturally occurring in horses (endogenous) by establishing threshold levels. 
     Any anabolic steroid administered anytime close to a race would exceed the threshold levels and certainly would be detected in post-race samples, according to Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, and Dr. Scott Stanley, director of the Ken Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory, which performs all primary equine drug testing in California. The Maddy lab has been gearing up since early last year for the testing of anabolic steroids, which will begin July 1.
     Citing the need to eliminate anabolic steroids from racing, Dr. Arthur said the drugs have adverse affects and could be contributing to the unacceptable number of catastrophic injuries in horse racing.
     "Anabolic steroids mimic the male hormone testosterone," explained Dr. Arthur. "They change the horse both physically and mentally. The mental change is the most dramatic. They help horses eat better and withstand the mental stress of hard training. The horses become more aggressive. Some horses clearly get bigger and stronger. Obviously, increased strength, and a tougher mental attitude all would be considered positive traits in a racehorse, artificially produced positive traits. Anabolic steroids allow horses to train harder. Perhaps, too hard. Over-training is a significant factor in many of the catastrophic injuries suffered by our horses. Therefore, in addition to the performance-enhancing issue, eliminating anabolic steroids could very well have a favorable, long-term impact on the longevity of horses' racing careers."
     Written comments should be addressed to: Harold Coburn, Regulation Analyst, California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300. Sacramento, CA 95825. For additional details, he can be reached at (916) 263-6397 or Fax: (916) 263-6022 or e-mail (harolda@chrb.ca.gov). The exact time and location for the July 17 public hearing on this matter will be posted on the CHRB website at least 10 days beforehand.--June 24.



Barretts October Mixed Sale Entry Forms Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The Barretts online entry system, along with the printed version of the entry form for the 2008 October Mixed Sale, is now available by clicking here.
     The 2008 Barretts October Mixed Sale will be held on Monday, October 27, and Tuesday, October 28.  Entries will be screened for this sale due to stabling limitations.   Entries must be postmarked by Friday, July 18th in order to qualify for the reduced early-bird entry fee. The final deadline for entries for this sale is Friday, July 25.
     The Breeders Cup World Championships will be conducted at nearby Santa Anita on the preceding Friday and Saturday. On the Sunday night before the October Mixed Sale, Barretts will conduct the Barretts Classic I of Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale.   Entries for the Classic I sale will close on September 5.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--June 20.



Barretts June Supplementary Catalog Now Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The supplemental catalog containing 30 horses for the 2008 Barretts Summer Sale of Horses of Racing Age and 2-Year-Olds in Training is now available online
     This auction will be held next Tuesday, June 24, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 11 a.m.  The official training preview is scheduled to be held on Monday, June 23 (the day preceding the auction) on the racetrack adjacent to Barretts beginning at 10 a.m. 
     Live interactive bidding on the June sale will be available to registered bidders. For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--June 18.



TOC Directors Vote to Back THG and Its Model
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     At its June meeting, the board of directors for the Thoroughbred Owners of California voted unanimously to endorse the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group and to authorize THG to represent TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in Advanced Deposit Wagering negotiations.
     Already a "founding member" of THG, TOC - whose President, Drew J. Couto, currently serves as the Vice-President of THG - elected to emphasize its support of the new organization, and of its efforts to ensure an efficient and professional means of negotiating simulcast contracts on behalf of horsemen across the country.  As structured, THG acts as a broker for member organizations, leaving to each individual organization the right to accept or reject simulcast arrangements negotiated with sending and receiving sites, including ADW providers and others.
     TOC Vice-President Mace Siegel said:  "Owners, and all other horsemen for that matter, have been at a disadvantage for years in terms of the negotiation of simulcast and ADW contracts.  We have been intentionally excluded from the process by the vast majority of racetracks and ADW providers, and it shows.  Simulcast revenue allocations are still founded on an outdated financial model, which disproportionately benefits those who do not contribute as much to the industry as do horsemen."
     "Let's face it, racing is an interstate business, and becomes more so every day.  To succeed and prosper, the industry must accept that reality, and manage the business as such," offered TOC Chair Marsha Naify.  "THG is the ideal vehicle to efficiently negotiate and manage the horsemen's side of the simulcast business, and could certainly do so for track partners were they inclined to objectively and honestly look at what it is THG proposes and stands for."
     Last October, TOC and the California Horse Racing Board encouraged California licensed ADW providers and tracks to conduct an "ADW experiment" that permitted all ADW companies access to Thoroughbred race signals.
     "The experiment was widely seen as a positive development for players, the ADW companies, and for the industry in general. As a result, TOC has indicated to track partners its support for continuation of the experiment through the 2008 Oak Tree meet, which would allow us to properly evaluate the experiment's impact on all California Thoroughbred meets, through one full-year," noted TOC President Drew J. Couto.  "In the absence of an agreement to extend the experiment, the TOC Board has authorized THG to immediately begin negotiating alternative arrangements with ADW companies, beginning with the Del Mar meet."--June 17.



CHRB Exercise Rider Rule Open for Comment
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board is considering a proposal to create a new license classification for a provisional exercise rider and is soliciting comments from the public prior to a July 17 public hearing at Del Mar. Written comments, pro or con, must be received by July 14.
     Rule 1504.5 would create the new license category in order to allow aspiring riders to gain experience by working under supervision in the racetrack setting. Leigh Ann Howard, a licensed trainer and manager of a training facility, spoke in favor of this proposal at the April 24 CHRB meeting. There were no comments in opposition to this proposal.
     "Once an exercise rider license is issued to a person, that licensee is free to move from track to track and is assumed to be as knowledgeable as a person who has been licensed and riding for years," explains Howard. "By first issuing a provisional license to a new rider, that person can gain needed experience in a controlled situation within the existing structure and elements of racetrack safety."
     Currently, to receive a standard exercise rider license, the aspiring rider is questioned by the stewards to determine if the applicant is qualified to begin the evaluation process. The applicant must gallop a horse in front of the official outrider - an official who is always present when horses are exercised on the track and monitors activities to ensure the safety of all the horses and riders. The outrider judges the rider's skills and determines whether the applicant knows the track rules. By signing a stewards' card, the outrider states that the rider is qualified to gallop and breeze horses and work them out of the gate, along with everyone else.
     "There is concern among many horsemen that newly licensed exercise riders are not experienced enough to be thrown in with experienced riders without some sort of supervision," says Howard. "It is generally acknowledged that in order to gain the necessary experience, a new licensee must ride for some period of time on one of the licensed tracks. The new license category will enable inexperienced riders to gain this experience in a safe, legal manner. It will stop the common practice of newly licensed, inexperienced riders showing up at tracks without the necessary skills."
     As proposed, an applicant for license as provisional exercise rider must submit a notarized agreement as proof of employment by a CHRB licensed trainer, who will provide the structure around which the provisional exercise rider gains experience on the track. Provisional exercise riders will be covered by the trainers' worker's compensation insurance policies.
     The outrider generally will provide guidance and monitor the provisional rider's activities. The outrider will decide when a provisional exercise rider is allowed to come onto the track, whether the trainer or assistant trainer needs to accompany the rider, and when he or she will be allowed to ride freelance for other trainers. Provisional riders will be required to wear a distinctively colored helmet and vest cover when on the track to help others identify them.
     A provisional rider will be eligible to apply for an unrestricted exercise rider's license after 60 days on the recommendation of the outrider and approval of the stewards. Persons holding an exercise rider license in other racing jurisdictions will not be required to go through this process.
     Written comments should be addressed to: Harold Coburn, Regulation Analyst, California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300. Sacramento, CA 95825. For additional details, he can be reached at (916) 263-6397 or Fax: (916) 263-6022 or e-mail (harolda@chrb.ca.gov). The exact time and location for the July 17 public hearing on this matter will be posted on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov) at least 10 days beforehand.--June 13.


 Final Deadline Near for Barretts June Entries
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The deadline to supplement entries to the 2008 Barretts Summer Sale of Horse of Racing Age and 2-Year-Olds in Training is this Friday, June 13. Entries must be received by this date in order to be included in the supplemental catalog.
    Click here for the entry form. 
    The auction is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 24, with the training preview to be held the previous day (Monday, June 23) beginning at 10 a.m. on the Fairplex racetrack adjacent to Barretts.  For the main catalog, click here.
    For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--June 10.



Amerman Submits Resignation From CHRB
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     John Amerman announced Wednesday that he has regretfully resigned from the California Horse Racing Board due to a family decision to live a substantial portion of the year outside of California, which will prevent him from fulfilling his obligations as a racing commissioner.
     "My wife, Jerry, and I have purchased a residence outside of the United States, and we plan to spend a substantial amount of time during the year in our new home," explained Amerman. "In light of the CHRB's monthly meeting schedule and the need for special meetings from time to time, I concluded that I would not be able to properly fulfill my obligations as a member of the CHRB."
     Amerman said he already had submitted a letter of resignation to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, effective immediately. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Amerman to the Board on June 30, 2006, to a term that expires January 1, 2010.
     CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro said he regrets Amerman's departure, noting, "John is the epitome of what a perfect Board member should be. He has class, integrity, unwavering vision, and dedication to improving the racing business. It has been an honor to work with him and to consider him a friend. I understand his reasons for resigning, and honestly, I can't say I blame him."
     Much has been accomplished during Amerman's nearly two-year tenure, most significantly the installation of synthetic surfaces at four major thoroughbred racetracks in California, the adoption of strict new penalty guidelines for medication violations, and initial steps to ban steroids in California racing before the end of the year.
      "It has been a great privilege to serve on the CHRB," said Amerman. "We have taken many steps to provide for the safety of the horse and the jockey, and the leadership we've demonstrated could provide a pathway for other state racing commissions to follow."--May 28.



Final Date for Barretts Sale Entries Is June 13
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The deadline to supplement entries to the 2008 Barretts Summer Sale of Horse of Racing Age and 2-Year-Olds in Training is June 13. The sale is last of the three training sales held each year at Barretts.
     A record sale price was set last year when supplemental entry Laddie's Poker sold for $525,000, eclipsing the previous record set earlier in the day by supplemental entry Gilded.
     For the entry form for supplement entry, click here.
     The auction is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 24, with the training preview to be held the previous day (Monday, June 23), beginning at 10 a.m. on the Fairplex racetrack adjacent to Barretts. The main catalog can be viewed now by clicking here.
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--May 25.



Catalog for Barretts June Sale Now Online 
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The catalog for the 2008 Barretts Summer Sale of Horses of Racing Age and 2-Year-Olds In Training is now online and will be mailed soon. This auction will be held on Tuesday, June 24, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 1 p.m.  Click here for the catalog .
    The official training preview is scheduled to be held on Monday, June 23 (the day preceding the auction), on the racetrack adjacent to Barretts beginning at 10 a.m. 
     Supplemental entries are being accepted to the June sale until June 13. Please contact the Barretts office below if you are interested in adding horse(s) to the final Barretts training auction of the year. 
     Live interactive bidding on the June sale will be available to registered bidders. For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, please click here.
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--May 24.



CHRB Stiffens Penalties for Steroid Violations
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.

A CHRB steroid question-and-answer section follows.

     The California Horse Racing Board acted Tuesday to reclassify anabolic steroids, so that penalties will be far more severe for anyone using steroids on horses under racing conditions, in a move that CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro said adds to a growing list of efforts by the State of California to protect horses, riders, and the integrity of horse racing.
     "This is an easy one," the chairman later added. "Anabolic steroids have no place in competition sports, including horse racing. Period! End!"
     The steroids reclassifications, which will be immediately posted for 45-day public notice prior to a July 17 public hearing at Del Mar, go hand-in-hand with a larger regulatory package of penalties and classification changes. That larger package has been slowly moving through the regulatory process and is expected to be fully in place before the Breeders' Cup, which will be hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita Park this October 24-25.
     Both the chairman and Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, listed the new anabolic steroids regulations among the steps being taken to protect the integrity of the game and provide for the safest possible racing environment for horses and riders. Towards that end, they enumerated some of the steps that have been taken and continue in practice in California:
More extensive pre-race examinations of all horses entered to run. Each horse is examined at a jog and palpated by an official veterinarian, who has an examination history from previous pre-race inspections and post-race evaluations on each horse. These examination cards could be replaced in the near future by a more comprehensive computerized system that eventually could include the entire medical history of each horse. A version of the program was tested during the recent Bay Meadows meet.
Increased scrutiny of horses as they make their way to the race. All horses are examined again at the receiving barn and they are observed as they warm up on the track. The stewards, outriders, jockeys, and other racing officials are encouraged to notify the on-site track veterinarian if they observe or suspect any problems with any horse warming up for the race.
Improved racing surfaces. The CHRB mandate for synthetic surfaces at all major thoroughbred racetracks in the state clearly demonstrates the Board's commitment to protecting racing participants. Preliminary data shows that racing fatalities have declined by 50 percent in the state for horses racing on synthetic surfaces when compared to the same ovals when they were dirt tracks. A data base is being developed to track the effectiveness of these tracks for racing and training purposes.
State-of-the-art drug testing at the Board's primary laboratory. The Ken Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory at UC Davis uses the most sensitive and precise instrumental screening available, which can identify more than 800 compounds. The CHRB testing programs are as demanding and sensitive as any in horse racing. All horses also are pre-race tested for carbon dioxide levels to insure a level playing field. The Maddy Lab uses the most advanced methodology for detecting steroid levels above those naturally occurring in the horse, and with the adoption of new regulations, the CHRB is well positioned to monitor the use of steroids.
A necropsy program that generates information used to prevent catastrophic injuries in horses. California has the most comprehensive necropsy program in the United States. Early findings by this program at UC Davis led to the installation of nuclear scintigraphy equipment at California racetracks, which is a powerful tool to identify problems at earlier stages. The program also identified horseshoe "toe grabs" as a contributing factor to injuries, which led to the CHRB prohibition of long "toe grabs" in thoroughbred racing. Additional research studies are being undertaken in an effort to prevent injuries to racehorses.
     "California has been a shining light for the racing industry," said Dr. Arthur, while indicating the efforts would continue as the Board identifies additional ways to further protect horses and riders, including probable improvements to veterinarian's list procedures.
     Vice Chairman John Harris agreed, "California has a very level playing field. California has demonstrated its concern about horse welfare."
     Chairman Shapiro added that the effort would be continuing. "In the future we'll be looking at inbreeding and some of the other possible contributors we might consider as adding to the frailty of racehorses today."
     The board previously banned all steroids except for boldenone, nandrolone, stanozolol, and testoserone, and established very low threshold levels for those four anabolic steroids, three of which are endogenous or naturally occurring in the horse. Any administration of those steroids close to a race will be detected and will result in a violation. The board action Tuesday began the process of reclassifying those four anabolic steroids, so that violations will result in the disqualification of the horse and redistribution of the purse, and those involved would face minimum 30-day suspensions for first offenses. This regulatory process should be completed in September.
     In other business, the board delayed consideration of a request by the racing fairs to increase the takeout by 1 percent on wagers placed on California fair races. The proposal from the California Authority of Racing Fairs on behalf of the Alameda, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, Fresno, San Joaquin, and Humboldt County Fairs follows passage of a law last year authorizing an additional 1 percent for the maintenance and improvement of the fairs' racetrack facilities, subject to CHRB approval.
     Those fairs handled $126 million in 2007, including wagers placed outside of California on those fair races, so an additional 1 percent of takeout could result in $1.2 million for the improvements fund, assuming handle does not drop off and the additional takeout can be recouped from the out-of-state jurisdictions. CARF representatives said all of the fairs had agreed to earmark all of the initial revenue from the additional takeout for improvements in Pleasanton as it evolves into a year-round training facility in response to the imminent closure of Bay Meadows.
     While strongly endorsing the need to improve fair racing facilities, some of the Board members questioned whether the additional 1 percent would be sufficient to accomplish that goal. They also requested a comprehensive business plan with details on how the new revenue would be spent at Pleasanton and elsewhere. This matter will be discussed again at the board's next meeting on June 19 at Golden Gate Fields.
     The board approved the license application for fair meets in Vallejo (11 days, July 9-21) and Santa Rosa (12 days, July 23-August 4), but only after intensive questioning on why the two fairs had abandoned the experiment of a combined meet known as "Sonoma Solano Wine Country Racing." 
     In the ensuing discussion, Commissioner Jesse Choper cited the need for a comprehensive plan for horse racing in California, which "requires a certain amount of specialized knowledge, a collection of data, analysis of that input, and finally a determination of where we need to go. I don't have all the answers, but we need to  make the effort. We need to begin a full consideration of the issue of what I might call revenue sourcing."
     Chairman Shapiro assured Commissioner Choper and Commissioner John Amerman, who expressed similar views, that such a comprehensive discussion would take place, perhaps at a special meeting convened solely for that purpose.
     The board approved the license application for the thoroughbred meet at Del Mar (July 16 through September 3), with the exception of the Advance Deposit Wagering portion of the application. Del Mar has begun discussions with ADW providers to extend an experiment -  beyond its scheduled July 13 conclusion -  through the Del Mar meet and perhaps the end of the year. The current experiment allows all ADW account holders to wager on all California races.
     Del Mar Executive Vice President Craig Fravel discussed changes relating to the synthetic surface that was installed prior to the 2007 meet. Racing fatalities on the new surface dropped dramatically last year, but there were concerns about how the track changed in terms of performance from the morning to the afternoon. Fravel said a "softer wax" has been added to help address this issue, in addition to a different watering schedule. He said Racing Secretary Tom Robbins is "excited about the way we've improved the track" from a performance standpoint.
     The board adopted a rule allowing a horse returning from a layoff of at least 180 days to be entered into a claiming race in which it will be ineligible to be claimed, just the one time, as long as the horse is entered at a claiming level equal to or greater than the price for which it last started. The purpose of this rule is to encourage owners to give horses needed time off.

Steroid Questions and Answers

The California Horse Racing Board is providing this Q & A in an effort to answer likely questions pertaining to new regulations restricting the use of anabolic steroids.

     Q: When will horses that have excess levels of steroids actually result in sanctions?
     A: The necessary laboratory procedures and official testing of samples will begin July 1, 2008. We will start issuing complaints and/or warnings for violations after that date.

     Q: Will all steroid violations be treated the same?
     A: No. Testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol are temporarily Class 4. All other anabolic steroids already are Class 2 or 3. Complaints will be issued for Class 2 or 3 violations after July 1. However, sanctions for the Class 4 steroids testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol will be limited to warnings for the first few months until their reclassification to Class 3 is completed.

     Q: When will the warning period end for those four steroids and complaints begin?
     A: Probably in September. The first step in the regulatory process to move testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol to Class 3 already has been taken. Once this regulatory is completed, all anabolic steroids will be Class 2 or Class 3. This is expected to be completed in September, at which time complaints will be issued for violations involving excess levels for   those four as well.

     Q: Under the new penalty guidelines, what possible sanctions will result for steroid violations?
     A: All Class 2 and Class 3 steroid violations will result in purse redistributions and a minimum 30-day suspension for first-time offenders. Any warnings issued after July 1 for the Class 4 steroids testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanozolol could count as an aggravating factor against anyone who receives a complaint after they become Class 3.

     Q: What medications used at the track are anabolic steroids?
     A: Equipoise® (boldenone); Durabolin® (nandrolone), Winstrol® (stanozolol) and testosterone are the most common anabolic steroids used in racing. We occasionally will see trenbolone. There are many anabolic steroids available but they are not typically used in horses. If you have any questions consult your veterinarian. 

     Q: Are anabolic steroids all completely banned?
     A: Veterinarians can still have and administer anabolic steroids on the racetrack. Anabolic steroids just cannot be found in post-race tests except at the threshold levels established by CHRB regulations.

     Q: Why are any anabolic steroids allowed at all?
     A: We have totally banned all anabolic steroids except four. Threshold levels have been established for testosterone, boldenone, nandrolone, and stanzolol. The first three are naturally occurring, also known as endogenous, in the horse. Testosterone is present in intact males, gelded males, and fillies. Nandrolone and boldenone are naturally occurring in non-gelded males. Even though stanozolol (Winstrol®) is a manufactured pharmaceutical anabolic steroid, the 1ng/ml level (1 part per billion) is below the detection procedures in most racing labs around the world. This level was not set to be permissive but rather to promote uniform national policies for anabolic steroids. Uniform rules do no good without uniform reporting levels.

     Q: Is clenbuterol an anabolic steroid?
     A: No. Clenbuterol is a beta-2 agonist, a bronchodilator. Clenbuterol is reported to have adrenergic (muscle building) activity but is not an anabolic steroid. Notwithstanding, late or excess administration of clenbuterol is a Class 3 violation itself.

     Q: What are the withdrawal times on anabolic steroids?
     A: As with all drugs, withdrawal times are specific to the formulation. As a group, anabolic steroids stay around for a long time, longer than any other group of drugs used in racing. Trainers should be looking at a minimum of 30 days with the water-based anabolic steroids, such as stanozolol (Winstrol®) and aqueous testosterone. The oil-based anabolic steroids, such as Equipoise® (boldenone), Durabolin® (nandrolone) and testosterone, will need a minimum of 45 days. Therefore, we are advocating that administration of these drugs stop at this time.

     Q: Can we rely on these withdrawal times? Are they "official?"
     A: Just like all other drugs, the answer is an emphatic no. These are recommendations for minimum withdrawal times. There are too many variables involved to be more specific.  Dose, route of administration, specific formulation, and multiple doses are all factors that cannot be controlled. Withdrawal times on these drugs are further complicated by the common use of compounded anabolic steroids. Compounded drugs do not have the same quality control standards as drugs manufactured at FDA inspected 

     Q: What are trainers to do to protect themselves from a positive?
     A: The simplest answer is to not use anabolic steroids beyond this point.

     Q: What about if I need to treat a horse with anabolic steroids? What can I do then?
     A: The horse can be treated, but you must let sufficient time pass afterwards for the administered drug to clear the system, otherwise a positive test could result. The CHRB can arrange pre-entry testing, provided the treatment is documented by your veterinarian on the Confidential Veterinarian Reports. Your veterinarian must list the horse, route of administration, dosage and drug on the Confidential Veterinarian Reports to be eligible, and the race to enter cannot be within the minimum recommended withdrawal times.

     Q: What will be the cost to have my horse pre-race tested, and can I routinely have all my horses tested?
     A: The current drug testing budget for the CHRB allows us to provide pre-race testing at no cost to horsemen through the rest of 2008, provided you meet the requirements outlined in the previous answer. If those requirements are met, a trainer could make such testing routine.

     Q: What if I claim a horse or buy a horse from another trainer?
     A: The CHRB can arrange pre-entry testing with a legitimate documentation of transfer of ownership.

     Q: Will California be alone in this effort?
     A: No, Pennsylvania and Delaware already are regulating anabolic steroids, and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has recommended all jurisdictions have policies to regulate anabolic steroids in place no later than the end of this year. California is better prepared than most jurisdictions, so we are ready to move forward at this time. The Ken Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory at UC Davis began gearing up early last year for the testing of anabolic steroids once it became clear this was going to be an issue in horse racing. While California might be ahead of most other states, anabolic steroids should be effectively regulated throughout the country by the end of the year. Never before has racing medication regulation moved so closely together as with anabolic steroids.

     Q: What kind of notification and education are you planning to make people aware of the changes?
     A: The CHRB has discussed this publicly for more than a year at Medication Committee meetings and monthly Board meetings. Dr. Arthur has been in close contact with the California Thoroughbred Trainers and other horsemen's groups in an effort to discuss and educate all parties on the new rules that are being enacted. The CHRB will schedule backside open meetings in Northern and Southern California to address any questions or concerns. Additionally, Dr. Arthur is willing to meet with trainers and veterinarians at any time to answer questions.--May 23.



CHRB Seeking Cause of Quick-Pick Problem
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board is investigating the circumstances that resulted in the cancellation of all Quick-Pick betting in the state due to an apparent Scientific Games computer problem that caused certain program numbers to be omitted from what was purported to be a purely random selection method.
     The concept of the Quick-Pick wager is to allow fans to purchase pari-mutuel tickets based simply on a random computer selection rather than making the selection themselves. Quick Picks are available on all types of wagers.
     Upon learning of a potential problem following this year's Kentucky Derby, CHRB Executive Director Kirk Breed issued a directive May 9 to Scientific Games, which contracts with all California racing associations and fairs to provide totalizator equipment and services in the state, directing the company to "cease accepting Quick-Pick wagers in facilities authorized by the California Horse Racing Board." This includes all racetracks in the state, which were individually notified.
     Given the possibility that the same programming failure might exist in other racing jurisdictions serviced by Scientific Games, last week CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro personally advised Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, of the problem in California.
     "We have discovered a potentially serious issue," wrote the chairman in his May 15 e-mail to Martin. "I want to share this with ARCI, so that other jurisdictions that use Sci Games are both aware of this problem and can deal with it accordingly."
      Breed said the CHRB would not tolerate any compromising of the integrity of pari-mutuel wagering. He said the ongoing investigation would determine among other things whether Scientific Games was previously aware of the reported software malfunction but failed to report the problem to its clients and the Board. CHRB Assistant Executive Director Richard Bon Smith is personally leading the investigation.
     Chairman Shapiro added, "It will be of particularly grave concern if the investigation reveals that Scientific Games knew of this malfunction before the CHRB discovered it but did not report it. It is further distressing that according to recent news reports, some Scientific Games officials are now saying they only were made aware of this problem in the last few days. The industry must have transparent and competent wagering systems, and this apparent breakdown of a system must be dealt with aggressively. We must protect the public at all costs, as integrity of our wagering is job one. The CHRB is committed to using all resources available to it, both within and outside of the agency, to fully understand the scope of the issue."
     Even after receiving the directive and taking steps to prevent all Quick-Pick wagers, Scientific Games learned from the CHRB that some Quick-Pick tickets were somehow still being sold. Scientific Games representatives indicated they would deal with the matter.
     Until the CHRB is satisfied that the problems are fully resolved, Quick Pick selections will not be permitted.--May 19.



TOC Sets Owner Seminar for Golden Gate Fields
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     Thoroughbred Owners of California will host a free seminar at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, May 31, beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The program, "Ownership 101: Veterinary Medicine and Your Racehorse," will introduce attendees to modern veterinary medicine practices and issues in Thoroughbred racing. 
     Seminar panelists will include Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board and a practicing veterinarian on the Southern California racetrack circuit for more than 30 years; Dr. Kim Kuhlmann, a practicing veterinarian on the Northern California racetrack circuit since 1983, an owner and breeder for over 20 years, and a current member of the TOC board of directors; and Aggie Ordonez, a Northern California-based trainer/owner and daughter of long-time trainer and former jockey Pete Anderson.
     The seminar will begin promptly at 8:30 at Trackside Court, Clubhouse Level, at Golden Gate Fields. Continental breakfast will be served.
     Although the event is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (510) 559-7521 or (800) 994-9909. Golden Gate Fields is located at 1100 Eastshore Highway, Albany, Calif., 94706.
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--May 18.



Three Post 9 4/5 Works in 2nd Barretts Preview
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     Complete results of the second of two official training previews for the 2008 Barretts May Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training are now online. Click here for those results.
     Three horses tied for the fastest 1/8 mile work when they stopped the timer in 9 4/5.  They were Hip 214 (a colt by the freshman sire Lion Heart from the family of multiple champion filly Silverbulletday out of the consignment of Havens Bloodstock as agent), Hip 260 (a colt by Cactus Ridge out of the Mt. Livermore mare Sweet Emma from the consignment of BC3 Thoroughbreds as agent) and Hip 327 (a colt from the first crop of the Storm Cat stallion City Place from the consignment of Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds-- which also stand City Place at stud in Florida).
     The fastest 1/4 mile work was recorded by Hip 265, a colt by Songandaprayer out of Sydney's Kiss also out of the consignment of Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, who stopped the timer in 21 2/5.
     Video clips for the second day's preview are expected to be available by late morning on Saturday. Video clips of the first preview held on Thursday are available now.
     This auction of 329 2-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, May 13, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 11 a.m. The catalog can be viewed by clicking here.
     Live interactive bidding on the sale will be available to registered bidders. For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--May 10.



Two Blaze 9 4/5 Seconds for in Barretts Preview
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     Complete results of the first of the two official training previews for the 2008 Barretts May Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training are now online. Click here for those results. 
Two horses tied for the fastest 1/8 mile work when they stopped the timer in 9 4/5. They were Hip 28, a colt by the first crop Elusive Quality stallion Gimmeawink who is a half-brother to the current multiple stakes winning three year old filly Calico Bay from the same consignor that sold this year's brilliant Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown (Eddie Woods as agent), and Hip 73, a colt by the top class Maryland-based sire Not For Love who is the second foal out of a mare from a top class black type family from the consignment of Wavertree Stables (Ciaran Dunne) as agent.
     The fastest 1/4 mile work was recorded by Hip 121, a filly from the second crop of the brilliant young stallion Harlan's Holiday from the family of major Southern California stakes winner Fit to Lead out of the consignment of Murray Smith as agent, who stopped the timer in 20 4/5.
   The fastest 3/8 mile was turned in by Hip 66, a colt by Champion sprinter Cherokee Run out the multiple stakes winning Pleasant Colony mare Flirty Frosty from the consignment of B.C.3. Thoroughbreds as agent, who completed his work in 33 3/5.
     The second half of the sale catalog will preview tomorrow, May 9 on the Fairplex Park racetrack adjacent to Barretts beginning at 10 a.m. Video clips for the first day's preview should be available by late morning on Friday with the video clips of the second day available early Saturday.
     This auction of 329 2-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, May 13, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 11 a.m. Click here for the catalog. 
     Live interactive bidding on the May sale will be available to registered bidders. For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--May 9.



Breeders' Cup Ticket Applications Now Available
The following was provided by Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     Ticket applications for the 2008 Breeders' Cup World Championships, hosted by Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita Park, are now available. The 25th Breeders' Cup, consisting of 14 races and a record $25.5 million in purses, will be held Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25.
     Completed ticket applications received at Santa Anita Park by June 9, 2008, will be included in a random draw for priority seating. Lottery winners will be notified by July 15. Applications received after the deadline will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis, depending upon seating availability. 
     Ticket information and applications are available by visiting the Oak Tree Racing Association. website.--May 7.



Deadline Near for Barretts June Sale Entries
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
   The entry deadline for the 2008 Barretts Summer Sale of Horse of Racing Age and 2-Year-Olds in Training is this Friday, May 2.
     Click here for the entry form.
     The auction is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 24, with the training preview to be held the previous day, Monday, June 23, beginning at 10 a.m. on the Fairplex racetrack adjacent to Barretts.
     Last year individual records for the sale were set for both a 2-year-old in training (Champagne Miss for $120,000) and a horse of racing age (Laddie's Poker for $525,000).
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--April 30.

Good Journey Will Shuttle to Stud in Australia

The following report is from the Australian Breeding and Racing Magazine online daily update.
     Lindsay Park Stud and the USA's Magali Farms have entered a partnership that will see proven young sire and Grade 1 winner Good Journey (Nureyev-Chimes of Freedom, by Private Account) shuttle between South Australia and the USA. 
     The Grade 1-winning son of Nureyev will re-commence his Southern Hemisphere duties at Lindsay Park Stud in the upcoming 2008 stud season after having stood privately for four seasons at Ealing Park before being purchased by Magali Farms in California. 
     With his oldest progeny now 3-year-olds, Good Journey has produced 10 winners from only 13 runners in his first crop of 23 live foals. Among his first crop are Group 1 West Australia Derby winner Grand Journey and Group 2 Alistair Clark Stakes winner Sound Journey. 
     In the deal brokered by Adelaide bloodstock agent Adrian Hancock, Lindsay Park Stud has purchased 50 percent of Good Journey with Magali Farms and partners retaining 50 percent. Good Journey will stand for $18,000 at Lindsay Park Stud  following the completion of the 2008 breeding season in California.
     His fee will be the highest of those of the seven stallions to stand there.--April 21.

Horse-Retirement Planners Hold First Meeting

The following is based on a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     The first move toward implementing the new industry program for subsidizing the care of retired California racehorses has been made with the first meeting of the board of directors of the organization that will administer the plan.
     The first board meeting of the newly formed California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) was held at Santa Anita late last month. 
     Making up the 12-member board of directors are Madeline Auerbach, chair; Marsha Naify, vice-chaif; Doug O'Neill, chief financial officer; Jennifer Hagan, secretary; Ron Charles, Drew J. Couto, Trevor Denman, Jan Hawthorne, Guy Lamothe, John Sadler, Samantha Siegel, and Gary Stevens. 
     CARMA was formed to help Thoroughbred rehabilitation and retirement facilities that care for and retrain horses whose careers have ended after competing in California Thoroughbred races. CARMA will manage a grant-request process and disburse funds to qualified retirement facilities caring for such horses.
     "The first board meeting for CARMA is really one of the most historic events to occur in horse racing in the last decade," said Naify. "For the first time, owners are stepping up to the plate and saying we need to take care of our horses - everyone's horses."
     Now officially a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, CARMA is actively seeking contributions. A recent CHRB rule change established a deduction of three tenths of one percent of purse revenues to fund the charity. 
     "Even though the rule change provides for owners to 'opt out' of the program, I feel that owners' support for CARMA is strong and most will participate," said Auerbach. It is anticipated that other industry organizations, including trainers, jockeys and racing associations, will join in financially supporting CARMA. 
     Tax deductable donations are now being accepted, and may be sent to: CARMA, P.O. Box 1086, Sierra Madre, Calif., 91025-9086. (Tax I.D. #80-0146395).
     Plans are also under way for the kickoff event for CARMA. The fundraising event--a poker tournament, with silent and live auctions--is tentatively scheduled for Thursday evening, August 21, in Del Mar. For further information, please contact Lucinda Mandella at 626-574-6618.--April 9.



Celebration to Mark Seabiscuit's 75th Birthday
The following is a Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation press release.
     The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation and Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, built by Charles S. Howard, owner of horse racing legend Seabiscuit 80 years ago, are slated to benefit from a special Ridgewood ranch tour and reception in honor of champs's 75th birthday. Festivities are to be held at Seabiscuit's historic home and final resting place inerar Willits in Northern California.
     Festivities including the unveiling of the two small bronze statues of Seabiscuit are planned on Saturday, May 24, with a reception following at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits. 
     This event, sponsored by the Willits Chamber of Commerce and the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, is by reservation only. For ticket information contact the Willits Chamber of Commerce at (707) 459.7910 or visit www.willits.org. Major underwriters include Mendocino Country Farm Supply, Larson Family Winery, and GlenMoor Enterprises.
     Artisan Kim Corpany and Stan Watts, of Salt Lake City, Utah, are now crafting two commemorative bronze mini-sculptures featuring the legendary racehorse in honor of his two great jockeys, Red Pollard and George Woolf.  The statues will be offered for sale in support of the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation, dedicated to preserving the historical buildings and landscapes that constitute Seabiscuit's legacy and the Howard Foundation, currently raising funds to build a new state of the art teaching hospital facility. 
     Still a working ranch, Ridgewood has been designated one of America's most threatened historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is now working with the current owners, the National Trust, and others to develop an overall preservation and resource management plan and identify funding sources.--April 9.



Senate Confirms Two CHRB Appointments 
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Senate has voted unanimously to confirm Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's appointments of John Harris and Jesse Choper to the California Horse Racing Board.
     Vice Chairman Harris has served on the Board since first being appointed by Governor Gray Davis on November 9, 2000. He was reappointed by Governor Davis in 2003, and then reappointed by Governor Schwarzenegger last September.      Commissioner Choper has served on the Board since March 30, 2007. All appointments to the CHRB are subject to Senate confirmation.
     "I am pleased by the reappointment and confirmation, and I intend to work hard to keep racing moving forward," said Vice Chairman Harris. "The overall horse-racing industry in California and nationally is facing many challenges, including competition from other forms of gambling and other leisure activities, rising costs, flat revenues, and an aging fan base.
     "There are no simple solutions to these challenges, but horse racing has a proud heritage and contributes significantly to the California economy. It combines a beautiful sport with an opportunity for people to use their intellectual prowess to compete against others in the very stimulating exercise of handicapping races. Horse racing is the only sport in California that can legally be wagered on, and Advance Deposit Wagering (account wagering) allows horse racing to enter every home in the state. I am very optimistic that we can address these problems and continue moving forward."
Commissioner Choper said, "Of course, I am pleased to be confirmed. The problems facing the industry are especially formidable. I have found my time on the Board to be both challenging and rewarding."
     Vice Chairman Harris owns and operates Harris Farms in Coalinga, a major livestock and crop operation, which also includes Harris Ranch Restaurant and Inn on Interstate 5 near Coalinga. He has owned thoroughbreds since 1958 and is a prominent breeder of racehorses. He was elected a director of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association in 1974, served as the organization's legislative chairman for 20 years, and was twice elected CTBA president. He served as CHRB chairman in 2003 and 2004.
     Vice Chairman Harris also has served on the boards of the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), Grayson-Jockey Club Research Board, and the Center for Equine Health/UC Davis Advisory Board. He is a member of the Jockey Club, and currently serves on the boards of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America and the Pacific Legal Foundation. John and his wife, Carole, live on one of their horse farms on the Kings River east of Fresno.
     Commissioner Choper joined the faculty at the University of California's Boalt Hall in 1965, where he served as dean for 10 years and continues to teach as the Earl Warren Professor of Public Law. Previously, after graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the University of Minnesota Law School  He also has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, lectured at major law conferences throughout the world, and written several books and numerous articles on the law.--April 4.



October Yearling Sale Nomination Deadline Near 
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The deadline for nomination to the 2008 California's Fall Yearling Sale, co-sponsored by Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, is next Friday, April 11. 
     Recent graduates of this sale include stakes winners Golden Doc A, Celtic Dreamin, Lethal Heat, Nikki'sgoldensteed, Rush With Thunder, Rockella, Runforthemoneybaby, Topper Shopper, Tie Rod and Nene. 
     The nomination fee is $50 per yearling. Horses will be screened on pedigree prior to physical inspection. Inspections will be conducted beginning in mid-May and ending in mid-June. The auction will be held on Tuesday, September 30.
     Click here for the October Sale nomination form, as well as access to the Barretts interactive online entry system.
   For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--April 4.



Barretts May 2-Year-Old Catalog Now Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The catalog for the 2008 Barretts May Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training is now online and will be mailed soon. This auction of 329 2-year-olds will be held on Tuesday, May 13, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 11 a.m. 
     Click here for the catalog.
     The official training previews are scheduled to be held on Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9, on the Fairplex Park racetrack adjacent to Barretts, beginning each day at 10 a.m. 
     Horses in the first half of the catalog will preview on Thursday with the second half previewing on Friday. Video clips for each preview can be viewed online by the afternoon following the preview at www.barretts.com.
     Several of the horses in the sale catalog will run before the sale. The past performances of these horses, which will be updated from time to time, can be viewed by clicking here.
     Stallions represented in the sales catalog include Broken Vow, Candy Ride, Catienus, Cherokee Run, Congaree, Cuvee, Dynaformer, El Corredor, Empire Maker, Forestry, Friends Lake, Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Grand Slam, Harlan's Holiday, Indian Charlie, In Excess, Johannesburg, Lion Heart,  Malibu Moon, Maria's Mon, Medaglia d'Oro, Mizzen Mast, More Than Ready, Mr. Greeley, Not For Love, Omega Code, Orientate, Peace Rules, Petionville, Pleasantly Perfect, Posse, Proud Citizen, Pulpit, Royal Academy, Seattle Fitz, Seeking the Gold, Silver Deputy, Smart Strike, Smarty Jones, Songandaprayer, Speightstown, Storm Boot, Stormy Atlantic, Strong Hope, Successful Appeal, Swiss Yodeler, Tale of the Cat, Tapit, Thunder Gulch, Tribal Rule, Van Nistelrooy, War Chant, Yankee Gentleman and Yonaguska. 
     Live interactive bidding on the May Sale will be available to registered bidders.  For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--April 4.
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CHRB Adopts Tough New Drug Regulations
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board has re-approved regulations establishing strict penalty guidelines for medication violations and related drug classifications that apply to all licensees, including trainers, horse owners, and veterinarians.
     During the regular monthly business meeting on Thursday, March 27, at Bay Meadows, the board revised the language of regulations it had previously approved, this time in order to comply with recommendations of the Office of Administrative Law, which reviews regulatory changes for all state agencies, and to address industry concerns.
     The penalty guidelines call for stewards, hearing officers, or administrative law judges to issue a minimum one-year suspension to any trainer found responsible for a Category A violation, a category that includes drugs with the highest potential to affect performance and that have no generally accepted medical use in the racing horse. Repeated offenses call for even longer suspensions or permanent license revocation, and fines up to $100,000 to the owner and trainer.
     "I believe we are making a huge stride forward," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro during the course of the discussion. He said the substantial fines and/or penalties called for by the guidelines should make enough of an impact to "make a positive difference and help the game."
     The penalty guidelines contain specific language allowing licensees to present evidence of "mitigating circumstances," which if persuasive could convince hearing officers to either reduce or eliminate penalties altogether. The investigator or deputy attorney general representing the CHRB will have the opportunity to present "aggravating circumstances" in an effort to increase the penalty.
     Owners of horses in the more serious cases (Class 1, 2, and 3 drugs) would in all instances lose any purse money. And under the new regulations, the horses involved could face sanctions, such as not being permitted to compete for several months and being subject to additional drug testing at the owner's expense.
     The regulations establish five drug classifications and four penalty categories. The more than 800 drug substances that can be detected by the Board's official testing laboratory - the Ken Maddy Laboratory at U.C. Davis - all are listed among the five classes and assigned to a penalty category based on their therapeutic value, appropriate usage, potential for environmental and dietary contamination, and ability to influence the outcome of a race.
     The board will continue to file complaints against the trainers of horses that exceed the regulatory threshold of 37.0mm1/1 for total carbon dioxide (TCO2). The new penalty guidelines will provide additional deterrents for readings over 39.0mm1/1. Repeat violations at the higher levels could result in suspensions of six months to a year. And in addition to losing the purse in all TCO2 violations, an owner with repeated violations also could be fined up to $20,000.
     In other business, Chairman Shapiro formally announced that Commissioner Marie Moretti had submitted a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger informing him of her decision to resign her commission effective March 31, 2008. In that letter, Commissioner Moretti thanked the Governor for the opportunity to serve in his administration as a member of the Board and explained, "After more than eight years on the Board, I believe it is time to let someone else have the opportunity to serve."
     Commissioner Moretti was first appointed to the CHRB by Governor Gray Davis on October 22, 1999, and most recently was reappointed by Governor Schwarzenegger through January 1, 2010. Her 8½ years on the CHRB was the longest tenure of any racing commissioner in at least the last 30 years.
     "This is a loss for all of us in the industry," said Chairman Shapiro. "We all wish to express our gratitude and appreciation to Marie. She is a very insightful and caring person, who did a lot to benefit the industry."
     Continuing with the regular agenda, design and development plans for a new simulcast facility that will open later this year in San Mateo were described in detail by Chris Carpenter, general manager of the San Mateo County Event Center, and Chris Korby, executive director of the California Authority of Racing Fairs.
     The project involves renovating an existing 16,000-square-foot building at the Event Center, adjacent to Bay Meadows Race Track, with optional plans for additional space if there is sufficient demand and funding. Carpenter said the facility would be completed by late August and would be available to provide a seamless transition if Bay Meadows closes as expected following the San Mateo County Fair meet this summer.
     Chairman Shapiro expressed appreciation to the San Mateo County Fair for its efforts and responsiveness to timely fill the void that would result with the closure of Bay Meadows by providing a wagering alternative for fans in the area and serving the needs of the community.
     The Board approved for public notice four proposed regulations relating to the coupling of horses for wagering purposes, restricting heel-nerved horses from racing, scratching or issuing minimum fines when recently gelded horses are not so identified in the official program, and creating a one-time, non-claiming option for horses returning from extended layoffs.
     After the public comment periods, the Board will conduct a public hearing for each of the proposed regulations before voting on final adoption. Details on how to provide public comment are provided on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the prompts "Horse Racing Rules" and "Rules Noticed to the Public." These proposed regulations will be posted on the website later this month.
     The coupling change would allow for horses partly owned by the same person to race as separate wagering interests if there are different partners in the ownership and the horses have different trainers.
     The board instructed staff to prepare a draft amendment to prohibit horses having a posterior digital neurectomy (heel nerved) from racing in California. The rule would set a specific date after which a horse could not undergo this surgical procedure and still race.
     The gelding change provides for two options, either of which could be approved by the board for final adoption. One option is to fine the trainer $1,000 if proper procedures are not followed to identify horses that have been gelded. The other option is to scratch the horse if the official program does not correctly identify a horse as having been gelded since its last start.
     The claiming-race change would allow horses returning from layoffs of at least 180 days to run in claiming races in which they could not be claimed, provided they are entered at a claiming level at least as high as their last race. This change is designed to encourage owners to give their horses needed time off.
     The board approved license applications for the Hollywood Park meet (April 23 through July 13) and the Golden Gate Fields meet (May 13 through June 22), the latter subject to the resolution of one matter in the horsemen's agreement.
     Representatives of the Pari-Mutuel Employees Guild and three of the companies providing Advance Deposit Wagering services in California provided an update on the status of negotiations pertaining to the option for certain classifications of ADW workers to decide if union representation is desired. After a lengthy public discussion, the parties moved to a private room to continue their negotiations, and then hours later they returned to the board meeting to indicate they had moved closer to a resolution and that negotiations would continue in coming weeks.
     During a discussion of the Sacramento Harness Association, which ceased operations last month and made way for harness racing operated by and at Cal Expo, the board learned that SHA left behind considerable debt. After being assured that SHA was making good on a commitment to satisfy its obligations to horsemen's purses, the commissioners asked the deputy attorney general serving as board counsel to help them determine what their role should be, if any, in addressing ongoing issues with creditors. Pointing to the SHA matter, Chairman Shapiro said the board needs to develop minimum net worth standards for racing associations submitting applications for license. The board directed staff to begin that process.
     The board discussed the current administrative practice of CHRB investigators and stewards resolving financial disputes among licensees. Some commissioners believe the time consumed by financial complaints could be better spent handling other important matters. The commissioners asked the industry to come up with alternatives that would take some of the burden off stewards. This matter will continue to be addressed at future board meetings.--April 1.

Barretts to Hold Special Breeders' Cup Sale

The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     Barretts Equine Limited will conduct the Barretts Classic I, a Selected Sale of Horses of Racing Age on Sunday evening, October 26, the day after this year's Breeders Cup which will be held at Santa Anita. 
     The company will conduct its annual fall mixed sale beginning the following day, Monday, October 27, both at the Barretts sale complex in Pomona.
     "Once it was announced that Santa Anita would host the Breeders Cup two years in a row, we began to seriously consider putting on a special event.  The timing of the sale and our close proximity to Santa Anita should help us to attract the kinds of horses that will appeal to buyers in town for the major Breeders' Cup races," stated Barretts' President, Jerry McMahon. "The fact that we will have two years in which we can leverage our marketing and promotion makes this a unique opportunity," added McMahon.
     The closing date for entries for the new sale will be Friday, September 5, and further details will be made available in the near future.  For further information, please contact Barretts (800) 467-7379.--March 28.



CTBA Reveals Plan to Cut Farm Insurance Costs
The following is adapted from a California Thoroughbred Breeders Association press release.
     MOC Insurance Services/Maroevich, O'Shea & Coghlan, and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association announced on Wednesday the formation of a program with an A-rated insurance company carrier designed to lower workers compensation costs for CTBA member farms. 
     MOC Insurance Services was at the forefront of resolving the workers compensation crisis in the early part of the decade. In 2002, John Unick, president of the thoroughbred racing division of MOC, brokered the deal that led to the formation of industry-owned captive insurance model known as the California Horsemen's Safety Alliance (CHSA).  The risk management approach of the CHSA led the efforts that have driven California workers compensation premiums from the highest in the nation to among the lowest.
     "Our formula for success is very straightforward. We commit ourselves to the nuances of the many different aspects of the thoroughbred racing industry before we launch exclusive programs," said Unick. "We have been working closely with the CTBA for several years and we are confident we have chosen the right carrier and risk approach."
     Carmina Angka, vice president, and Sara Przemielewski, manager of the thoroughbred racing division of MOC, worked with Unick on the operational structure of the CTBA program and CHSA program. 
      "The development of the on-track safety alliance program by John Unick and the CTT (California Thoroughbred Trainers) was a long process but John kept to the task and the program has been very successful," said CTBA President Leigh Ann Howard.  "Input from our farm members has enabled him to build a workable program with our California breeding farms that should be similarly successful."
     MOC Insurance Services is a San Francisco headquartered insurance brokerage firm providing risk management and employee benefits consulting services. The combined entity creates an organization with over 50 professional employees in three locations servicing clients nationwide with annual premiums exceeding $100 million.
     Additional information can be obtained from Unick at junick@mocins.com or CTBA executive vice president and general manager Doug Burge at dburge@ctba.com.--March 26.



October Yearling Sale Nomination Form Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
The nomination form for the 2008 California's Fall Yearling Sale, co-sponsored by Barretts and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, is now online. Click here for the form.
     Nominations will close on April 11. The sale will be held on Tuesday, September 30.
     Recent graduates of this sale include stakes winners Golden Doc A, Celtic Dreamin, Nikki'sgoldensteed, Rush With Thunder, Rockella, Runforthemoneybaby, Topper Shopper, Tie Rod and Nene.
     The nomination fee is $50 per yearling. Horses will be screened on pedigree prior to physical inspection. Inspections will be conducted beginning in mid-May and ending in mid-June.
The October Sale nomination form as well as access to the Barretts interactive online entry system, can be found at by clicking here.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--March 24.



Norcal Yearling Sale Moving to Santa Rosa
     After four years in Pleasanton, the CTBA's Northern California yearling sale is moving to Santa Rosa.
     The fifth year of the revived sale will be held on August 26 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, the CTBA announced Friday. The CTBA returned to the Northern California sale market in 2004 after an 11-year absence.
     Last year's sale originally was scheduled for August, but a shortage of stalls at the Alameda County Fairgrounds forced postponement until late September. The shortage of stalls was caused by the unscheduled closing of the Golden Gate Fields track for training, forcing trainers to stay at Pleasanton instead of moving to Golden Gate Fields as was anticipated when the sale date was originally set.
     The sale experienced the first decline in its four-year history, a result that many consignors blamed on a date that followed rather than preceded the giant Keeneland September yearling sale.
     Unlike Pleasanton, Santa Rosa has no year-round training, so stalls are certain to be available for this year's sale.
     The deadline for entries is June 2.--March 22.



Leigh Ann Howard Chosen to Lead CTBA
The following story appeared on the CTBA website.
     Leigh Ann Howard, a thoroughbred trainer/owner/breeder who has managed San Luis Rey Downs training center since 2001, has been elected the association's president. Howard is only the second female president of the CTBA, the other being Cecilia B. DeMille Harper.
     In other election results, Myron Johnson is vice president, Pete Parrella remains treasurer and Sue Green was elected as secretary.
     Howard is chairman of the Education Committee of the CTBA and was instrumental in launching the CTBA's Industry Directory. She also is past president and board member of the California Thoroughbred Trainers. She designed, built and managed Valley Creek Farm and now acts as a consultant.
     She joined the CTBA in 1967 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1996. She is also currently on the boards of the California Thoroughbred Farm Managers Association, the Bonsall Chamber of Commerce and the Edwin Gregson Foundation and the pension committee of the California Thoroughbred Trainers.
     In 2004, Howard received an Outstanding Woman in Thoroughbred Racing award chosen by state Assemblywoman Carol Liu.
     Her areas of interest have included: keeping the incentive program intact; educational meetings and seminars; activities leading toward more membership camaraderie; better intra-industry communication; and simply helping people enjoy their horses.--March 18.



Deputy Commander's 2008 Breeding Suspended
The following is a press release from Ballena Vista Farm
     Due to an undiagnosed health issue, Ballena Vista Farm's stallion Deputy Commander has been removed from the breeding shed for the 2008 season.  While not a life-threatening injury nor a contagious illness, the health issue is affecting his ability to effectively cover mares. 
     The onset of the problem over the past week prompted his admittance to the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital where he has been undergoing comprehensive testing and treatment. It is expected that he will return to the farm no later than mid-March.
     While it is possible that the stallion could recover from his health issue in a matter of days or weeks, for the well-being of the stallion and to give owners who have mares booked to the stallion ample time to amend their mares' breeding plans for the season, the farm's management team decided to suspend Deputy Commander's breeding activities at this time for the duration of the 2008 season. 
     Owners who have mares booked to the stallion may opt to transfer their booking fee and contract to another Ballena Vista Farm stallion, or they may request cancellation of their mare's contract to Deputy Commander and accept a refund of the booking fee.  The Farm's management is in the process of completing the task of contacting all mare owners who have booked mares to the stallion this season.--March 13.



Harris to Receive TOC's Ed Friendly Award
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     John Harris has been selected to receive TOC's Ed Friendly Industry Service Award at a ceremony to be held Saturday, March 29, at Santa Anita Park. The award, presented annually, recognizes outstanding contributions and service in the Thoroughbred racing industry. The recipient is chosen by TOC's board chair, with Harris being selected this year by Chairperson Marsha Naify, who will be on hand to make the presentation following the second race.
     One of the more visible and outspoken supporters of California racing and breeding, Harris is deeply committed to the industry - from his tireless service on racing industry boards to his sustained investment in California's racing and breeding programs. He has served on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) since 2000, served two terms as chairman in 2004 and 2005, and currently serves as vice chairman. 
     He has also served on boards of nearly every Thoroughbred organization in the state and beyond, including TOC, California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, Breeders' Cup, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Board, Center for Equine Health/UC Davis Advisory Board, Race Track Chaplaincy of America, and The Jockey Club.
     Harris has had a lifelong love for horse racing, owning Thoroughbreds since 1958. Also a prominent California breeder, he has bred and raised five two-time Valkyr Trophy winners: Alphabet Kisses, Moscow Burning, Super High, Work the Crowd, and Soviet Problem. A huge proponent of the state's breeding industry, Harris was involved in the structuring of California's lucrative breeders' incentive program in the early 1970's, when the legislation was completely rewritten.--March 13.



Barretts March Sale Horses Hold Second Breeze
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The second and final official training preview for the 2008 Barretts March Selected Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training was completed Monday at Fairplex Park. Click here for video clips for each preview, as well as the first preview
     The fastest time for 1/8 mile Monday was attained by Hip 11, a filly by Forestry out of the stakes winning Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette from the consignment of Scanlon Training Center as agent, who stopped the timer in 10 seconds flat. 
     The fastest 1/4 mile work of 21 2/5 was set by two horses from the consignment of B.C.3. Thoroughbreds, agent: Hip 15 (a colt by Barretts March sale graduate Officer out of Hot Chipotle) and Hip 94(a California-bred colt by Formal Gold out of the stakes placed mare Squire Out Front).
     Click here for complete results of both training previews.
     The auction will be held on Wednesday, beginning at 2 p.m. This year's auction will again be broadcast live by HRTV. Click here for the catalog.
     Live interactive bidding  will be available to registered bidders. Click here for more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--March 10.



TOC Honors Williamson as 'Owner of the Year'
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     Warren Williamson was voted Owner of the Year, and his Nashoba's Key chosen as Horse of the Year in TOC's annual owner awards selection. Williamson's runners made 28 starts in California in 2007, posting 11 wins, including six stakes wins and earnings of $1,177,680. Nashoba's Key accounted for seven of those victories, including three stakes, and $863,460 in earnings in California. 
     In other voting, Kevin Kleczka was chosen Rookie of the Year. Kleczka became a licensed owner in California in March, 2007, and in the remainder of the year made 17 starts with four different horses on his way to six wins and more than $100,000 in earnings. "The Year of Synthetic Surfaces in California" was chosen as the 2007 Story of the Year. 
     The selection process underwent a transformation this year, starting with a new media selection committee consisting of representatives from northern and southern California, including track publicity, print media, television, and local handicappers. The winners were chosen by a combined vote of the media committee and members of the TOC board of directors. 
     In an effort to make the awards as timely as possible this year, they will be presented on March 15th in Southern California and April 12th in Northern California.  Ceremonies will take place in the winners' circle between races at each of the two racetracks. The March 15th ceremony will also include the presentation of the annual Ed Friendly Industry Service Award, which will be made by TOC Chair, Marsha Naify.
     Awards will also be presented for winners in several statistical categories. Robert Bone takes top honors in two of those categories: Most California Purse Money Won and Most California Races Won. Racing in both southern and northern California, his 2007 runners made 267 starts, for 67 wins and earnings of $1,626,598. The award for Most Stakes Races Won goes to Stronach Stables, whose Citronade and Sugar Shake garnered a total of 7 stakes wins.--March 7.



Bay Meadows to Offer New Three-Race Event
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     Bay Meadows Racing Association will conduct a new three-race event that begins this month - the Triple Play Race Series, consisting of a $10,000 claiming race followed by two starter races. The series will feature "supercharged" purses: $18,000, $20,000, and an estimated $62,000 for legs one, two and three respectively. Horses must run in each leg to be eligible for the succeeding leg(s). Entries close Thursday, March 13.
     The first leg of the series, an open $10,000 claimer at 1-1/16 miles, will be run Sunday, March 16.  A one-time starter fee of $300 is due at time of entry. Horses claimed from this race will remain eligible for the series provided they are starters in the second leg. The second leg will be a starter allowance on Sunday, April 13 at 1-1/8 miles. The final leg will be a starter allowance at 1-1/4 miles on Saturday, May 10th. 
     All races will be on the main track. First through fifth-place finishers in the first two legs will accumulate points that will be used to determine the starters in the final leg, should it overfill. 
     "I'm excited to have this series, as it will be fun for all involved," said TOC Director Bob Bone, who originally proposed the idea for the unique three-race event. "It's been said that the claiming game is like playing high stakes poker. This series is just that. In the first leg, some will be 'bluffing' and some will 'hold the aces.'  It will be fun for claiming owners and trainers to try and figure out which is which." Bone continued, "I hope it is successful, so in the future we can do more series at different distances, on different surfaces, and for both the boys and girls. I think it would be great to do it in Southern California, as well, at a higher claiming level."
     For further information and full details on the Triple Play Race Series, contact the Bay Meadows Racing Office at (650) 573-4600.--March 6.



Ten Blaze 10.0 Flat in First Barretts Preview
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The first official training preview for the 2008 Barretts March Selected Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training was completed Tuesday at Fairplex Park. 
     The second and final training preview is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 10. Video clips for each preview today, as well as video streaming of the entire preview in hip number order, will be available at www.barretts.com by Wednesday afternoon.
     No fewer than 10 2-year-olds blazed the 1/8 mile today in 10 seconds flat. In hip number order, they are Hips 37 (filly by Macho Uno from Sequel Bloodstock), 39 (colt by Songandaprayer from BC3 Thoroughbreds), 57 (colt by Salt Lake from BC3), 72 (filly by Gulch from BC3), 106 (colt by Cactus Ridge from BC3), 122 (colt by Seattle Fitz (ARG) from Scanlon Training Center), 126 (colt by Chapel Royal from Wavertree Stables), 146 (colt by Bernstein from BC3), 153 (colt by Forest Wildcat from Jerry Bailey) and 178 (colt by Orientate from Eddie Woods).
     The fastest 1/4 mile work was accomplished by Hip 154, a colt by Lion Heart out of the Rahy mare Clever Squaw consigned by Murray Smith as agent, who stopped the timer in 21 2/5. Two horses tied for the second fastest work at 21 3/5: Hip 51, a filly by last year's leading freshman sire Posse also from the consignment of Murray Smith, and Hip 131, a colt by Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold out of the stakes winning mare Alpha Saphire from the consignment of B.C.3. Thoroughbreds as agent. 
     Click here for complete results of the preview. 
     Video clips for each preview today, as well as video streaming of the entire preview in hip number order, will be available at www.barretts.com by tomorrow afternoon.
     The auction will be held on Wednesday, March 12, in the Hinds Pavilion beginning at 2 p.m. This year's auction will again be broadcast live by HRTV. For the catalog, click here.
     Live interactive bidding on the March sale will be available to registered bidders. For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, please visit http://www.barretts.com/ViewSale/bidding.asp.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--March 4.



CHRB Moves to Eliminate Anabolic Steroids
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board took another regulatory step toward eliminating anabolic steroids in horse racing Thursday by setting strict limits on the threshold levels of the four most commonly used steroids that can be present in official test samples.
The move puts California in the forefront of dealing with the regulation of anabolic steroids. 
     The Board adopted a regulatory amendment based on a national model rule, which recognizes that while there are limited legitimate and therapeutic uses for anabolic steroids in the equine, anabolic steroids are not appropriate nor should they be used for horses competing in any race. 
     "It is our Board's desire to eliminate unnecessary anabolic steroids in horse racing, and this is a major step," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro. "With the good science and the national consensus, we've just got to move this forward. Anybody who reads the news knows this is something obvious. This is something that will help the whole industry very quickly."
     The CHRB's next steps will be to reclassify the four anabolic steroids and move them into penalty categories calling for meaningful fines and purse forfeiture. That process will begin in the next few months.
     Three of the four anabolic steroids - nandrolone, boldenone, and testosterone - are endogenous (naturally occurring) in the horse and are present naturally at low levels, so establishment of a proper threshold level was necessary. A level above the threshold limits in this regulation would be clear evidence they were purposefully administered and not naturally produced by the horse. A threshold level also was approved for stanozolol, the fourth anabolic steroid on the list. Stanozolol is an FDA-approved, non-endogenous anabolic steroid for horses; the established regulatory limit would prevent its use anytime close to racing or for racing purposes.
     The national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), which developed the model rule, is in the process of determining withdrawal times for administered anabolic steroids. By the time the CHRB finishes the regulatory process for anabolic steroids, the RMTC study will be completed and the withdrawal information will be available to horsemen. The goal of the Board is to both eliminate anabolic steroids for competitive use and at the same time educate and inform all participants of the rules.
     The Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory at UC Davis has been preparing for more than a year by developing appropriate drug-testing protocols for anabolic steroids. For the first several months of the regulation, the Maddy Laboratory will be able to conduct pre-racing testing on request, so that owners, trainers, and veterinarians with any concern about withdrawal times can have horses tested before they race to make certain that any administered steroids have cleared the system.
     "If you don't use anabolic steroids, you won't get a positive. It's that simple," said Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director. Dr. Arthur has been working closely with Dr. Scott Stanley at the Maddy Laboratory and with the RMTC, where he serves on the executive board and chairs the RMTC's scientific advisory committee. The RMTC has engaged in a concerted effort to bring about a national consensus for the effective regulation of anabolic steroids in the United States.
"We have been preparing for this for a long time," said Dr. Arthur. "We're ready."
     The Board's regulatory approval Thursday goes hand in hand with a previous board action placing all other anabolic steroids (except these four) in the Class 3 drug classification and Category B penalty, resulting in the automatic forfeiture of the purse upon a positive finding for any of those other anabolic steroids. 
     Final approval by other state reviewing agencies of the overall penalty guidelines and drug classification regulations has been delayed, but the Board expects those regulations and all of the anticipated regulatory changes for anabolic steroids to be in place before the fall.
     In other action, the Board authorized the California Exposition and State Fair to operate a harness meet at Cal Expo from March 6 through August 2 and then, following the summer mixed-bred meet during the State Fair, a second harness meet from September board action insures a transfer of continuous operations from the Sacramento Harness Association (SHA), which experienced serious financial difficulties and will run its last program Saturday night, March 1.
     Much of the discussion focused on the potential liabilities left behind by SHA, as the racing commissioners repeatedly questioned SHA President Ivan Axelrod about how those obligations will be met. He assured them, "We will be able to satisfy close to 100 percent of our liabilities."
     Unconvinced, the board instructed staff to meet with Axelrod and other SHA principals, along with horsemen and labor representatives and any other parties relevant to the discussion, to go over the books and determine the best course of action.
     "We need to make sure everyone is going to get paid," said Chairman Shapiro.
The Board authorized Santa Anita to continue offering up to nine races on weekdays and up to 11 races on weekend cards, subject to their ability to fill those races based on the horse inventory, but the Board did not authorize nor did Santa Anita request any additional Wednesday programs to make up for the days lost during the current meet due to adverse weather and track conditions.
     If Santa Anita does decide to request one or more Wednesday programs, the chairman and executive director have authority to approve them, as was the case with the three make-up Wednesday programs that already have been run in recent weeks.
     However, if Santa Anita were to request any Wednesday programs within the last four weeks of its meet, which runs through April 20, Chairman Shapiro and Executive Director Kirk Breed would first need to determine that the horse inventory was sufficient to accommodate the additional Wednesdays without depleting the inventory to the possible detriment of the upcoming meet at Hollywood Park.
     The board approved for public notice a proposed regulatory amendment to allow horses returning from layoffs of at least 180 days to run in claiming races in which they could not be claimed, provided they are entered at a claiming level at least one level higher than that of their last race. Initially proposed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California, this creation of a category for Alternative Claiming Race is designed to encourage owners to give their horses needed time off.
     Commissioner Jerry Moss reported on the February 27 meeting of the Pari-Mutuel Operations Committee, and the board acted on several of the Committee's recommendations:
The board waived the coupling rule for all Breeders' Cup races and for non-overnight stakes races. In these limited instances, horses with the same owner(s) and trainer will race uncoupled in the wagering.
Pending further action, the board temporarily suspended the coupling rule to allow horses with some common ownership but not identical ownership to race uncoupled in any race, provided the horses have different trainers.
The board instructed staff to work with representatives of the World Poker Tour and other interested parties in drafting proposed regulations and amendments to allow for a pari-mutuel, tournament-style wager on multiple horse races, which the Board will consider at a future meeting.
The Board indicated support for race meets to offer future book wagers on their signature races (e.g. the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup).
Representatives of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and Jockeys' Guild reported that the California Jockey Welfare Corporation had been formed and will oversee and administer the programs providing health and welfare benefits to eligible California jockeys. Under California law, proceeds from uncashed vouchers are used to subsidize the health and welfare program for jockeys. Jockeys are paying about one-third of the cost of premiums themselves. The Board approved administrative changes that will result in the effective processing of claims, billing, and auditing of the program.
     The board authorized the distribution of $46,182 in race day charity proceeds by the Bay Meadows Racing Association to four beneficiaries.--March 1.



Bone Named to Fill Jackson's Seat on TOC Board
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     Robert Bone has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, filling a vacant board position that expires June 30, 2008. The seat was held by Jess Jackson.
     "We are very pleased to welcome Bob," said TOC Board Chair, Marsha Naify. "He has great energy and enthusiasm for the sport and, with his vast experience as a claiming owner, will provide a unique perspective to the Board."
      TOC President, Drew J. Couto, said, "I had the pleasure of owning a horse with Bob in the late 90's; and I am really happy to now have the opportunity of working with him on the TOC Board."
     Bone became an owner in 1990 and currently has more than 50 racehorses in California. Among the top horses he has campaigned are Desert Boom, Early Ronan, Fly Forrest Fly, Ultimate Summer, Dignified Donovan, Fighting City Hall, Grafton, Bluesthestandard, and Choctaw Nation. He was voted Owner of the Year by the TOC membership for 2003, 2004, and 2005.
     A graduate of the State University of New York in Oswego, Bone owns four automobile dealerships in the Sacramento area. He resides in Shingle Springs, Calif. with his wife, Lisa, and two sons.
     "Since my background is primarily in the claiming game, I have many ideas to make racing better for claiming owners and trainers," said Bone. "And as a horse player all my adult life, I would like to give a gambler's perspective on many issues, as it is the gambling dollar that drives our industry."--February 29.



CHRB Working on Tournament-Style Wagering
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     Any horseplayer caught up in the current poker craze should want to attend Wednesday's meeting of the Pari-Mutuel Operations/ADW & Simulcasting Committee at Santa Anita Park for a discussion of a proposed tournament style, pari-mutuel horse-racing wager sponsored by the World Poker Tour.
     The meeting will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Baldwin Terrace Room immediately following the breakfast draw for the Santa Anita Handicap, which will be held just downstairs at Clockers' Corner.
     The three members of the California Horse Racing Board who serve on the PMO Committee - Commissioners Jerry Moss (Committee chairman), John Andreini, and Jesse Choper - also will hear a proposal for future book wagering on the signature race at each California racetrack, such as the Big 'Cap at Santa Anita. 
     Details on both of the proposed wagers will be provided during the meeting. Representatives of the World Poker Tour will be present to discuss the tournament proposal.
     As many as 45 new minisatellite wagering facilities could open at locations throughout California under a new law (AB 241) designed to expand the number of outlets for pari-mutuel wagering in the state, and the PMO meeting will provide the first public discussion of proposed regulations to implement provisions of the law.
     The Committee also will consider various proposals to amend or even repeal the rule requiring that horses with common ownership be coupled in the wagering.
     The texts of AB 241 and the proposed regulations, as well as other background materials for the PMO meeting, are available on the CHRB website under the prompts: Board meeting/Package/Committee. The public is encouraged to attend this and all noticed meetings of the Board and its committees.--February 26.



Kirk Breed Named CHRB Executive Director
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     Kirk Breed, a lifelong horseman and in recent years a lobbyist in Sacramento specializing in horseracing matters, has been appointed executive director of the California Horse Racing Board. He will assume his new duties Tuesday and will attend the monthly board meeting Thursday.
     "We are fortunate that Kirk has accepted the position of executive director. His vast experience in government coupled with his passion for horse racing will be a tremendous asset to the CHRB and the entire racing industry in California," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro in announcing the appointment Monday. "I eagerly look forward to working with him to continue our quest to strengthen and improve California racing in all respects."
     Vice Chairman John Harris, who along with Chairman Shapiro interviewed Breed and other candidates for the position, joined with the chairman in selecting him based on his experience. Subsequently, the full board was advised of the selection and approved of the hiring of Breed subject to necessary administrative procedures.
     "I am delighted that Kirk Breed has accepted this most important job," said Vice Chairman Harris. "He is an all-around horseman and very familiar with racing issues, plus he has a style and personality that will keep us moving forward. I have known him for years and have always respected his integrity, abilities, and problem-solving skills."
     The executive director, as chief executive of the agency that regulates horseracing in California, provides oversight of horseracing activities throughout the state. The executive director advises, consults, and implements the policies of the board; oversees the enforcement and licensing activities of the agency; oversees and assigns the stewards; and directs and implements the equine drug-testing program. The salary is $116,508 annually. 
     Breed fills the position vacant since the resignation of Ingrid Fermin on January 7, 2008.
     "I became interested in the job when I saw a real commitment by the board toward meaningful change to benefit the horseracing industry," explained Breed. "I'm excited by the leadership provided by the current racing commissioners, and I want to be part of this effort.
     "I've always had an open-door policy-always willing and eager to talk with people about their opinions. I believe in providing good leadership and getting people to work with me, not for me. All things considered, I believe this job is a good fit for me."
     Breed resides in Rancho Cordova with his wife, Mary Ann, a lobbyist/consultant and fourth-generation Californian, and their 5-year-old daughter, Cloe. They belong to the Sacramento Horsemen's Association and enjoy their horses, Mickey and Buck. In addition, Breed has three adult children, who trained and showed jumping horses, and two grandchildren, all residing in California. 
     Given his strong background with horses and the California horseracing industry and his extensive management experience at many levels, Breed is confident there will be a short learning curve in meeting his new responsibilities.
     His experience with horses dates back to the late 1950s when he helped his father train and race quarter horses while Breed was attending Oklahoma State University on a football scholarship. Upon graduating with a degree in zoology, Breed volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent five years in Chile working in community development, reforestation, designing parks, and land reform. 
     This led to a brief position with the State Department in Washington D.C., and then two years as director of the Peace Corps in Colombia. After returning home in 1972, he worked six years as director of planning and development with the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.
     During his time in Oklahoma, Breed was a founding member of the Oklahoma Horse Council and wrote the legislation that became law as the Oklahoma Trails Act. "I have owned at least one horse my entire life and have made a respectable living working for the horse and horsemen," said Breed. 
     Breed was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the general manager of the California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) in 1979. Under his leadership, the California State Fair grew into one of the premier agricultural fairs in the country.
     In addition to directing fair operations, Breed served as director of racing during the summer fair meet, and in this capacity was a hands-on manager that included everything from negotiating and  supervising the harness contract to directing the annual State Fair race meet to driving the tractor during the winter training program.
     Breed left Cal Expo after six years, but before he left he directed the installation of one of the first satellite wagering facilities to open in Northern California in the fall of 1985. 
     "We wanted to be the first satellite facility to open, and with very little money we were able to open the doors of the grandstand in one of the coldest, wettest winters in memory," he recalled. "We heated the place with orchard butane heaters and the people loved it. Overnight, we had racing 220 days a year in Sacramento."
     Breed returned to state government in 1988 as senior consultant to the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. He analyzed all legislation pertaining to horseracing and gaming. He drafted legislation, including major bills pertaining to safety standards at racetracks  and satellite wagering.
     He began his own lobbying and consulting firm in 1990 with clients in the fields of horseracing, agriculture, transportation, entertainment, and mental health.  Breed's principal client was the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, the men and women who breed, own, and train quarter horses.  Breed's mandate from the PCQHRA was simple: "Help make us more money for purses and help us keep what we have."
     Breed concluded, "I have really enjoyed my eighteen years lobbying for horseracing in Sacramento, but now it's time to move into what I consider the greatest challenge of my career: executive director of the CHRB. I'm ready."--February 25.



Golden Gear Leaves California for Arizona
     Multiple graded stakes winner Golden Gear, sire of millionaire champion Ginger Gold, is leaving California for a new home in Arizona.
     The 17-year-old son of Gulch has been sold by Blooming Hills to Zimmerman Farms, LC, of Lindon, Utah, and will stand in 2008 at Fleming Thoroughbred Farms, Willcox, Ariz. He stood last year at Sue Hubbard & Associates Farm, Santa Margarita.
     Golden Gear, winner of 12 races in 26 starts and $634,009, captured seven stakes races, including the Grade 2 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Handicap at Keeneland and the Grade 3 Equipoise Mile Handicap at Arlington Park.
     In addition to Canadian champion Ginger Gold ($1,065,448), his stakes winners included Grade 3 winner Mr. John ($428,977), Bluesbdancing ($396,469), and Grade 2-placed Miss Elsie ($283,980).
     He will stand in 2008 at a fee of $2,000, live foal.--February 22.



CTBA Slate of Candidates Sweeps the Election
     The five-person slate nominated by the CTBA board of directors registered a clean sweep in the organization's annual election.
     The results, announced at annual CTBA membership meeting Monday in Pasadena, returned John Barr, Leigh Ann Howard, Myron Johnson, and Frank Vessels to office and added farm owner-manager Susan Greene to fill the vacancy opened by the retirement of director Patrick Hurley.
     Greene is the owner-manager of Woodbridge Farm in Oakdale.
     The only losing candidate was Roger Downes, who gained nomination through the CTBA's petition process.--February 20.



Panelists Named for Racetrack Surfaces Forum
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     Hall of Famers Richard Mandella, Gary Stevens, and possibly Russell Baze will be among the jockeys and trainers who will join with horse owners, public handicappers/horseplayers, racetrack operators, veterinarians, racing secretaries, track maintenance experts, and the manufacturers of synthetic surfaces this Wednesday when the California Horse Racing Board conducts a Special Purpose Meeting for a comprehensive discussion of California's racing surfaces.
     The meeting in the Baldwin Terrace Room at Santa Anita Park will be webcast through a link on the CHRB website http://www.chrb.ca.gov beginning at 10 a. m. Additionally, HRTV will broadcast highlights and selected interviews. There will be a break for lunch around 1 p. m.
     Some panels will be moderated by a panel member. Non-moderated panel members each will be allowed up to five minutes (unless extended by the board) to make a presentation of their views. Each panel session will be followed by questions from the board members: Chairman Richard B. Shapiro, Vice Chairman John Harris, and Commissioners John Amerman, John Andreini, Jesse Choper, Marie Moretti, and Jerry Moss.
     "As we approach this session, we hope to hear all views and opinions on both traditional and synthetic surfaces," said Chairman Shapiro. "This information exchange should be beneficial to all participants, including the Board. Everyone shares the common goal of finding the best course for our industry. We hope this meeting and similar information exchanges will provide us with the guidance and insight to succeed."
     Vice Chairman Harris said the purpose of the meeting is to get a good cross section of opinions and data on the performance of synthetic tracks to date. "We are going into this session with a clean slate, and while a variety of opinions exist on synthetic surfaces in general, we feel it will be beneficial to the entire industry to hold this session and share knowledge and insight," he explained. 
     Jockeys Garrett Gomez, Aaron Gryder, and David Flores will participate in the first panel, along with Stevens, now a host on HRTV, and Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys' Guild. Baze and Victor Espinoza also have been invited.
      The manufacturers or representatives of the three engineered synthetic surfaces installed at four racetracks in California will compose the second panel, joined by a track expert, Dr. J.P. Bardet. The surface representatives are Michael Dickinson (Tapeta, Golden Gate Fields), Jim Pendergest (Polytrack, Del Mar), and Paul Harper (Cushion Track, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita).
     Trainers participating in the third panel include Mandella, Bob Baffert, John Shirreffs, Doug O'Neill, Eoin Harty, David Hofmans, Ed Halpern, John Sadler, and Ed Moger. Mike Harrington and Ron Ellis also have been invited.
     Track maintenance experts will form the fourth panel: Richard Tedesco (Santa Anita), Juan Meza (Golden Gate), Dennis Moore (Hollywood Park), and Steve Wood (Del Mar).
     Official veterinarians, researchers, and practicing veterinarians will compose the next panel, including Dr. Rick Arthur, Dr. Susan Stover, Dr. Gregory Ferraro, Dr. Joe Dowd, Dr. Kim Kuhlman, Dr. Diane Isbell, and Dr. Jeff Blea.
Racing secretaries and directors of racing forming the sixth panel include Sean Greely (Golden Gate), Tom Robbins (Del Mar), Mike Harlow (Santa Anita), and Rick Hammerle (Santa Anita).
     J. Paul Reddam and Marsha Naify will be among the owners on the seventh panel, joined by Drew Couto, president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Public handicappers and racing analysts Brad Free, James Quinn, and Bruno De Julio will form the eighth panel.
     Racetrack operators will close out the meeting. Those panelists will be Ron Charles (Santa Anita), Eual Wyatt (Hollywood Park), Joe Harper and Craig Fravel (Del Mar), and Robert Hartman and Peter Tunney (Golden Gate).--February 18.



The Great Face: Washington 'Horse of the Year'
The following is a Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association press release.
     The Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association held their annual awards banquet on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Emerald Downs. Ron Crockett's Longacres Mile winner The Great Face was named '07 Washington horse of the year, champion handicap horse and champion sprinter. See below for the list of all the award winners, both equine and human.

WASHINGTON CHAMPIONS OF 2007

2007 Washington Horse of the Year: The Great Face, 5YO, G., Cahill Road-Irish Toast, by Synastry; owner: Ron Crockett, Inc.; breeder: Patricia J. Murphy (Time-Wise Farm); trainer: Tom Wenzel.

2007 Washington Older Filly or Mare: Gemstone Rush, 5YO, Wild Rush-Quarry Hill, by Relaunch); owners: Jerry Hollendorfer, George Todaro & John F. Turner; breeder: Landis Penry; trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer.

2007 Washington Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Mulcahy, G., Tribunal---Briar de La Rose, by Regal Companion; owners: Harley Hoppe & Howard Belvoir; breeders: Mr. & Mrs. William T. Griffin (Griffin Place); trainer: Howard Belvoir.

2007 Washington Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Firetrail, Defensive Play-Danza Regio, by Danzatore; owner and breeder: Dunn Bar Ranch LLC (Charlie & Marquita Dunn); trainer: Junior Coffey.

2007 Washington Two-Year-Old Champion Colt or Gelding: Margo's Gift, G., Polish Gift-Burgundy Jones, by Knights Choice; owner: Elttaes Stable (Ken & Marleen Alhadeff); breeder: Mrs. William C. (Barbara) Nelson (Gunshy Manor); trainer: Doris Harwood.

2007 Washington Two-Year-Old Champion Filly: No Constraints, Katowice-Nightatmisskittys, by Al Mamoon; owner and breeder: Dunn Bar Ranch LLC (Charles & Marquita Dunn); trainer: Tim McCanna.

2007 Sire of the Year: Matty G, Capote-Star Gem, by Pia Star. Stands as property of  Matty G Syndicate.

2007 Leading Freshman Sire: Polish Gift, Danzig-Miner's Game, by Mr. Prospector). Stood as property of Charles J. & Gregory E. Conley.

2007 Broodmare of the Year: Nightatmisskittys, dk.b./br.m., 1991, Al Mamoon-Skysweeper, by Ack Ack; Ooner: Dunn Bar Ranch LLC (Charlie and Marquita Dunn).

OTHER 2007 AWARDS

Plater of the Year: Ogieogilthorpe.

Most Improved Plater of the Year: Run Nicholas Run.

2007 Leading Breeder by Money Won: Mr. and Mrs. William C. Nelson, Jr.

Special Breeder Award: Landis T. L. Penry, for having most racing success in 2007 with foals of four or fewer mares, and including breeding 2007 Washington champion older filly or mare and stakes winner Gemstone Rush and 2007 stakes winner Starbird Road.

Mark Kaufman Media Awards: Wayne Lynch, News Director Northwest Cable News (Channel 2); and Al Smallman, handicapper for Seattle Post-Intelligencer, racing journalist and educator

Special Training Achievement Awards: Doris Harwood, for a record-breaking 12 stakes victories with five different runners, including Washington Champion 2YO Margo's Gift and Emerald Downs Champions SmartyDeb and Shampoo; and Tom Wenzel, for  the development of 2007 Washington Horse of the Year and Emerald Downs Horse of the Meeting The Great Face and for leading all Emerald Downs  trainers with a 24.2 win percentage.

Special Achievement Awards: Dr. Warwick M. Bayly for his commitment and leadership as  Dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and in the advancement of equine medicine; and Katie Merwick, for her compassion and dedication to animal welfare and especially in the rehabilitation, adoption and rescuing of Thoroughbreds at her Second Chance Ranch.--February 17.



CHRB Meeting to Focus on Artificial Surfaces
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     A comprehensive discussion of California's racing surfaces involving as many as 38 panelists from many segments of the horse-racing industry will be the focus of a Special Purpose Meeting being held by the California Horse Racing Board on February 20 at Santa Anita Park.
     The meeting in the Baldwin Terrace Room will be webcast through a link on the CHRB website (http://www.chrb.ca.gov). The Board will first conduct a closed executive session beginning at 9:30 a.m., and then the public session and webcast will begin at approximately 10 a.m.
     "We have scheduled this special meeting in part to review our track surfaces," explained CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro, who has personally invited 38 individuals representing racing secretaries, trainers, jockeys, manufacturers and experts in synthetic surfaces, veterinarians and researchers, track maintenance experts, racehorse owners, and racetrack owners.
     "Clearly, with the situation that has developed at Santa Anita, and much that has been written about the Board's mandate, it seems logical and appropriate to pause and see where we are today, what we know today, and what we should be looking for or doing differently in the future," continued the chairman. "The meeting is to review where we are, identify concerns, discuss solutions, get the facts to date, improve communications, and create collaborative efforts.
     "This meeting is not designed to prove any point or position. It is to provide information, facts, and ideas on how we can best achieve our common goals of safe racing surfaces and the betterment of the racing business."
     Four engineered surfaces have been installed at California racetracks since the Board issued a mandate last year requiring synthetic surfaces at all racetracks operating four or more weeks of continuous thoroughbred racing. 
     Vice Chairman John Harris said the goal of synthetic surfaces is to "keep horses sounder, longer," and he hopes to hear opinions on how best to achieve that goal. "This is more than just some experiment," he added. "It holds great promise to enhance the durability of horses."--February 15.



2008 Jockey Club 'Fact Book' Now Online
The following is a press release of The Jockey Club.
     Statistics in The Jockey Club's 2008 Online Fact Book, which was released today and is available through the Publications & Resources section of the organization's website at http://www.jockeyclub.com, reaffirm the beneficial impact of "racinos" (racetracks that offer alternative gaming) on state Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
     The Jockey Club Fact Book is published annually as a statistical and informational guide to the North American Thoroughbred industry; the 18th edition of the printed version will be published and distributed in early May.
     Available purse money in the U.S. in 2007 increased 5.4% to a record $1,180,587,881. Gains were derived largely from racino revenue in several states, including Pennsylvania, where the first full year of slot machine gaming at Philadelphia Park and the opening of Presque Isle Downs in Erie boosted purses in the state by 77.8% from 2006 to 2007. Presque Isle Downs offered nearly $11 million in purses during its inaugural meet.
     The contribution to purses from alternative gaming at racetracks also helped boost purses in Louisiana by 26.9% and in Oklahoma by 16.6%.
     While U.S. gross purses increased for the third time in the last four years, total handle on U.S. Thoroughbred races in 2007 declined 0.4% to $14,724,681,108. 
     In the Breeding section of the Online Fact Book, seven of the top 10 foal-producing states increased their production of registered foals between 1996 and 2006. The four leading percentage gainers among the top 10, based on foal registrations completed as of Jan. 15, 2008, were states that have established racinos: New Mexico, up 126.2%; Louisiana, up 78.8%; New York, up 44.5%; and Pennsylvania, up 40.3%.
     Statistics in the Sales section reveal total gross auction sales of $1,234,507,606 in 2007, which represents a 2.5% decline from the record auction performance of 2006. Double-digit percentage gains in gross sales and average price for broodmares in 2007 were offset by declines in gross sales and average price for weanlings, yearlings and 2-year-olds.
     In the Online Fact Book, some tables have been expanded to include multi-year reports; others include state-by-state analysis. Statistics in the Breeding section, which by their very nature change constantly, are updated regularly. 
     The following sections of the Online Fact Book have also been updated: Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide in 2006; the International Calendar of Events, which includes all Grade 1 races for which dates are known; and the Directory of National, State, Canadian and International organizations, which includes phone numbers for all organizations and website links for organizations that have them. 
     The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. The Jockey Club fulfills that longstanding commitment by serving the industry through its family of companies and by providing support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives.--February 14.



TOC to Offer Owner Seminars, North and South
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     TOC will host free seminars at both Santa Anita and Bay Meadows racetracks on Saturday, February 23, beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The program, "Ownership 101 - An Introduction to Racehorse Ownership," will introduce attendees to the various ways to enter the world of racehorse ownership, methods for choosing a trainer, and costs involved. 
     At each location, speaker panels will be made up of actual racehorse owners, who will share their real-life experiences and advice about Thoroughbred ownership. 
     At Santa Anita, speakers will include Southern California owner Lloyd Dix, who formed the very successful partnership, WGAS-10, with nine of his friends. 
     At Bay Meadows, the panel will include owner/breeder Randy Morris, who has been in the business for more than 25 years, and owner Bob Ansara of Blue Moon Racing. 
     Following the panel discussions, participants will be offered a tour of the barn area, where they will get a first-hand look at horses in training and have a chance to ask questions of prominent California trainers.  Hosting the barn tours at Santa Anita will be trainers Sandy Shulman and Howard Zucker. At Bay Meadows, attendees will visit the barn of trainer O.J. Jauregui.
     The seminars will be held at the Top o' the Stretch (just east of Clockers' Corner) at Santa Anita and in the Owner/Trainer  Lounge (2nd floor Clubhouse) at Bay Meadows. Santa Anita is located at 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia.. Bay Meadows is located at 2600 S. Delaware Street, San Mateo.  Continental breakfast will be served at both locations. 
     Although both events are free and open to the public, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (800) 994-9909. 
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--February 9.



Barretts March 2-Year-Old Catalog Now Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The catalog for the 2008 Barretts March Selected Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training is now online and will be mailed soon. 
     This auction of 191 3-year-olds will be held on Wednesday, March 12, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning at 2 p.m.  This year's auction will again be broadcast live by HRTV. 
     Click here for the catalog.
     The official training previews are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, March 4, and Monday, March 10, on the Fairplex Park racetrack adjacent to Barretts, beginning each day at 10 a.m. Video clips for each preview will be available at www.barretts.com by the afternoon of the following day.
     No fewer than 19 March Sale graduates won at least one stake in 2007, including eight graded/group stakes winners. Major national impact by March Sale graduates in the next few months is expected.
     Stallions represented in the sales catalog span the alphabet, including Awesome Again, Broken Vow,  Cherokee Run, Distorted Humor, Empire Maker, Forestry, Grand Slam, Harlan's Holiday, Indian Charlie,  Johannesburg, Lion Heart, Mr. Greeley, Not For Love, Officer, Posse, Storm Cat, Tiznow, Unbridled's Song, Vindication, Yonaguska and Zavata.
     Live interactive bidding on the March Sale will be available to registered bidders.  For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, please click here.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--January 31.



9 Western-Breds Weighted on 2007 Experimental
     Eight 2-year-olds bred in California and one bred in Washington were honored with places on the 2007 Experimental Free Handicap announced Thursday by The Jockey Club.
     No other runners bred in Western states were among the 105 males and 99 fillies assigned weights.
     The top places were awarded to War Pass among the males and Indian Blessing among the fillies. Both are Kentucky-breds. War Pass, by Cherokee Run, was weighted at 127 pounds and Indian Blessing, by Indian Charlies, 123 pounds.
     The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year's leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year's weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P. J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
     The committee weighted a total of 105 males and 99 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2007 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States.
     The highest-weighted California-bred was Georgie Boy, by Tribal Rule, at 119 pounds, fifth-best among the males. The top Cal-bred filly was Runforthemoneybaby, by Unusual Heat, at 113 pounds, 13th on the list.
     The Washington-bred was Margo's Gift, by Polish Gift,  40th among males at 109 pounds.
     Here's the list of Westerners, with sire, dam, sire of dam, breeder, and rank within the division:

COLTS AND GELDINGS

     Georgie Boy, by Tribal Rule--Ippodamia, by Peterhof, George Schwary (5th).
     Margo's Gift, by Polish Gift--Burgundy Jones, by Knights Choice, Mrs. William C. Nelson (40th).
     Bob Black Jack, by Stormy Jack--Molly's Prospector, by Native Prospector, Gary Howard, Marlene Howard and Bruce Dunmore (70th).
     Wise Mandate, by Perfect Mandate--Baroness V Ullman, by Bold Badgett, SLU, Inc. (70th).
     Run Brother Ron, by Perfect Mandate--Aloha Mangos, by Bold Badgett, SLU, Inc. (94th).

FILLIES

     Runforthemoneybaby, by Unusual Heat--Andover the Money, by Dynaformer, Abrams, Johnson-Stoll, V. Johnson, Nakkashian and Roberts (13th).
     Spring Awakening, by In Excess (Ire)--Catchofthecentury, by Carson City, Gerald Frankel (24th).
     Golden Doc A, by Unusual Heat--Penpont (NZ), by Crested Wave, David Abrams (42nd).
     Treadmill, by E Dubai--Lady Lang, by Langfuhr, J. Paul Reddam (104th).--January 24.


TOC Backs Rules for More Honest Auction Sales
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     The board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, at its December meeting, unanimously endorsed a series of recommendations proposed by TOC's Medication & Integrity Committee regarding certain auction sales practices. 
     In letters to leading sales agencies and the Sales Integrity Task Force, TOC strongly encouraged each to review their existing practices and, where appropriate, to adopt policies consistent with the TOC recommendations. 
     The recommendations, which include the prohibition of anabolic steroids, full disclosure of ownership details and medical records, and the licensing of bloodstock consignors and agents, are the result of several months of work by the Medication & Integrity Committee. 
     The Committee undertook an assessment of existing practices before developing its recommendations, which aim to enhance the integrity and competitiveness of auction sales, from the purchaser's point of view, and to improve the overall health of the business.  Accordingly, TOC's specific recommendations are as follows:

     Prohibition of Anabolic Steroids.  As a condition of sale, TOC supports a ban on the use of exogenous anabolic steroids on all horses within 45 days of a sale, including two year-olds.  The ban includes the administration of naturally occurring anabolic steroids resulting in abnormal levels, and all exogenous anabolic steroids.
     "The use of anabolic steroids can affect a horse's natural appearance and/or ability, which may or may not translate into racing performance," said TOC Chair Marsha Naify.  "Ultimately, this puts the buyer at a disadvantage and undermines the integrity of the sales transaction."  TOC's position is supported by the results of various surveys and medication summits expressing an industry-wide consensus on steroid regulation.
     Full Disclosure of Ownership.  TOC supports full mandatory disclosure of ownership details as well as the fact that any change in ownership, immediately prior to the sale of the horse, must be fully disclosed.  TOC believes that increasing transparency of ownership in the sales marketplace will boost consumer confidence. 
     "A voluntary policy simply is not enough," said Naify.  "Consequently, a mandatory disclosure policy is required to address questionable bidding tactics that artificially inflate sales values and undermine the integrity of auctions."
     Disclosure of Medical Procedures and Medical Records.  TOC supports the full disclosure of medical procedures and surgeries performed on any horse entered in a sale.  Whenever possible, full medical records should be made available to prospective buyers. Consignors - on their own behalf and that of their clients - will be asked to disclose details on any corrective surgeries or other significant medical treatments/procedures performed on young horses, as well as any medical records, to prospective buyers.
     Licensing of Bloodstock Consignors and Agents.  TOC supports the licensing of bloodstock consignors and agents and intends to pursue the regulatory changes necessary to license consignors with the California Horse Racing Board; agents are already licensed in California, but that is not the case in many states.  Bloodstock consignors are responsible for facilitating transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars annually, yet they are essentially unregulated brokers. 
     "The CHRB licenses 26,000 participants in 26 categories," explained Naify.  "Why should consignors be excluded?  TOC believes that an essential step to improving the integrity of auction sales - and to attracting new buyers - is the elimination of any appearance of fraud or deceit. We are fully in favor of complete transparency in the marketplace."

     Last fall, the Sales Integrity Task Force issued industry recommendations that TOC feels fall short of what is needed to address the legitimate interests and concerns of Thoroughbred owners who buy at auction sales. The lack of mandatory requirements for full disclosure is a key shortcoming of the Task Force's recommendations. TOC also felt that the Task Force did not have enough representation from Western states.
     TOC applauds Barretts Equine Limited, Keeneland, and other sales companies for their recent announcements that they will prohibit the sale of weanlings and yearlings treated with exogenous anabolic steroids within 45 days of sale, beginning in 2008.  While this is a step in the right direction, TOC remains hopeful that all sales companies will consider implementing TOC's policy recommendations.
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--January 18.



CHRB Extends Harness License--By 11 Weeks
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The Sacramento Harness Association (SHA) received an 11-week extension of its license Wednesday in a cautious move by the California Horse Racing Board to preserve standardbred racing in the state while the Board continues to scrutinize the financial condition of the group currently operating the meet at Cal Expo. 
     Still not satisfied that SHA has provided sufficient evidence of its financial viability, the racing commissioners decided for now against granting SHA a full-term license to operate the current meet through its scheduled August 2 conclusion, but rather to extend the license only through March 30. 
     The Board will reconsider this matter March 27. In the interim, SHA must provide an audited financial statement for 2007 showing a positive net worth, a $400,000 letter of credit to cover potential liabilities, a business plan for future operations, and other documentation showing SHA is operating at a profit.
     "We want to see over the next two months that you are implementing needed changes and putting a solid business plan into effect," explained CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro, who has been working with all of the principals in a concerted effort to stabilize the industry and protect the public interest. "We hope you will provide us with a financial statement and a business plan that will allow us to extend your license through August 2."
In extending the license, the racing commissioners sent a very public message indicating their support for harness racing and encouraging harness horsemen to continue racing in California while the Board insures the industry is operating on a solid financial footing.
     "I do not want to see harness racing leave California," Commissioner Marie Moretti told SHA representatives. "A financial statement that shows you can succeed would be the greatest comfort you could provide to horsemen."
     On Monday, the board of directors at Cal Expo granted SHA a rent reduction of $30,000 a month, or a total of $210,000 over the remaining term of the lease.      Additionally, Chairman Shapiro said he had spoken with Dr. Edward Allred, the owner/president of Los Alamitos Race Course, who has agreed to put up a $400,000 letter of credit on behalf of SHA.
    Ivan Axelrod, the U.S. Trotting Association chairman who last week was elected president of the SHA, and Dick Feinberg, the SHA general manager, described SHA's financial condition and listed some additional steps they are taking to improve the group's balance sheet.
     "I am going to demand some salary reductions by all of our staff," explained Axelrod. "And we will begin discussions with Cal Expo on what should be our financial relationship going forward from August 2."
     Feinberg added, "I believe we are sufficiently capitalized to conduct racing, pay our bills, and put on a good show through August 2."
     SHA agreed to provide the audited financial statement by March 1 and the other documentation well before the Board's March 27 meeting at Bay Meadows.
     Vice Chairman John Harris also expressed concern with the apparent non-segregation of purse monies owed horsemen, and said that needed to be addressed immediately.
Chairman Shapiro elaborated after the meeting that his primary goal is to make harness racing viable in California, and while not criticizing SHA, he felt it was immediately imperative that all options be considered, including the possible licensing of a different, better-capitalized licensee, such as the California State Fair and Exposition.
     In other business, Ron Charles, president of Santa Anita Park, elaborated on the track's announcement Tuesday that a solution has been found to the draining problem with the Cushion Track surface. He said a liquid binder would be added to the synthetic surface, allowing for proper drainage and providing "a much safer racing surface." Charles said it would take "probably 10 days" to get the additives, and then another four days to mix them into the existing Cushion Track.
     Chairman Shapiro said he witnessed a demonstration of water draining properly through the reformulated surface, "along with others, including some Hall of Fame trainers, and I was very pleased that everybody was so enthused."
     The Board authorized Bon Smith, the CHRB assistant executive director, to serve as acting executive director while the search continues for a replacement for Ingrid Fermin, who resigned as executive director on January 7.
     The Board approved for public notice revisions to proposed medication rules pertaining to penalty guidelines and classifications. The Board had approved the new rules in April, but the Office of Administrative Law disapproved those rules on review, which led to the revisions.
     Darrel Haire, western business manager for the Jockeys' Guild, reported that several jockeys are using an alternative whip designed to be kinder to horses because of extra padding on the tip. The Board approved the alternative whip last summer. Haire said manufacturers still are making adjustments to the design of the whip, which has delayed full-scale production and availability.
     The Board approved the license application for the Bay Meadows Racing Association to conduct a race meet in San Mateo from February 4, 2008, through May 11, 2008.
     The Board authorized the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to distribute $181,380 in race day charity proceeds to 20 beneficiaries, and authorized the Hollywood Park Racing Association to distribute $180,000 to 21 beneficiaries.
     The Board referred to the Pari-Mutuel Operations Committee two proposals to amend the rule pertaining to the coupling of horses. One proposal is to eliminate same-owner entries if the horses have different trainers. 
     The other proposal, offered by Vice Chairman Harris, is for a more limited uncoupling of horses involving partnerships where there is some overlap of ownership but the partnerships do not mirror each other.
     Vice Chairman Harris said he felt racing integrity could be preserved, and this change would have several advantages by increasing wagering opportunities and preventing unintended consequences for bettors when part of an entry is a late scratch. He noted that quarter-horse racing has not required couplings for some time without any apparent negative effect.--January 17.



CHRB Cancels Jan. 17 Teleconference Meeting
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board has canceled the teleconference meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 17, following the announcement by the Los Angeles Turf Club (LATC) Tuesday indicating they have found a solution to the drainage problem on the main track at Santa Anita Park, which will allow them to keep their synthetic surface in place.
     The sole purpose of the teleconference meeting was to consider a request by LATC for the Board to waive the requirement for a synthetic surface, which would have allowed them to replace the existing synthetic Cushion Track surface with a temporary dirt surface.
     "Santa Anita has gone to great lengths to solve this challenge, and at the same time to keep racing and training going," said CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro. "I personally witnessed the testing of the reformulated surface, and it was most impressive. It does not appear to be necessary for us to consider any waiver in light of the direction they have chosen."
     Please click here to view the news release from Santa Anita.--January 15.



TOC Appoints Shustek to Fill Board Vacancy
The following is a Thoroughbred Owners of California press release.
     Michael Shustek has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California effective January 10, 2008, filling a vacant board position that expires June 30, 2008. B. Wayne Hughes is the retiring director.
     Shustek owns more than 20 horses racing in California, either solely or in partnership, including Boutrous and PSU Grad.
     "Mike will be a great asset, and we are very happy to have him on board," said TOC Chair Marsha Naify. "Among his main concerns are medication and integrity issues. He is committed to working toward creating a more level playing field for our sport."
Shustek, who is CEO of The Vestin Group, a Las Vegas, NV based, publicly traded company, met with the board at its January meeting. "A common thread that my business world and Thoroughbred horse racing have is that they are both regulated," he said.  "I believe that the experience I have gained in the business world will help me to promote Thoroughbred horse racing."
     TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners' interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. Additionally, the organization provides ongoing educational opportunities for current and prospective owners, regularly presenting programs on Thoroughbred ownership including Ownership 101 Seminars, Advanced Horse Courses, and Conformation Clinics.--January 15.



CHRB Schedules Webcast of Wednesday Meeting
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board will webcast its regular monthly meeting this Wednesday, January 16, beginning at 10 a.m. through a link at the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov). 
     The public is encouraged to attend the meeting at Arcadia City Hall. The address is 240 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia.
     The full agenda and Board package for the meeting are available on the CHRB website under "Board Meeting." Agendas also are available at any CHRB office.--January 14.



Barretts Supplemental Catalog Now Online
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     The supplemental catalog for Barretts January Mixed Sale is now online and can be viewed by clicking here.
     The supplemental catalog contains 41 horses comprising 18 horses of racing age, 11 yearlings, nine broodmares and three 2-year-olds by such stallions as Bertrando, In Excess (Ire), Include, Officer, Smart Strike and Thunder Gulch. They will sell in the same order they would have had they been in the original main catalog.
     The Barretts January Mixed Sale will be held on Tuesday, January 22, and Wednesday, January 23, in the Hinds Pavilion located on the grounds of Fairplex Park in Pomona, beginning each day at 11 a. m.   Click here to view the catalog.
     Official Daily Racing Form past performances for horses of racing age can be viewed by clicking here.
     Live interactive bidding on the January Sale will be available to registered bidders.  For more information regarding the requirements for registering to bid interactively, click here.
     For further information, please contact: Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--January 12.


 Washington Sire Tribunal Loses Fight for Life
The following is a Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association press release.
     After several months of extensive care, 2006 Washington freshman leading sire Tribunal lost his battle for life after fracturing his cannon bone when recovering from anesthesia on January 8. 
     The 11-year-old stallion had been originally injured last summer when he kicked through the metal grill on his stall door at El Dorado Farms. The son of Deputy Minister was sent to Dr. Robert Schneider at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Schneider, who conferred with Dr. Dean Richardson throughout the stallion's care, performed several surgeries on the stallion, including replacing his navicular bone with a graft from his hip bone after concerns for laminitis developed.
     "I think Dr. Schneider and his staff should be commended for all the effort they put into trying to save Tribunal.  I can tell you that he was just as disappointed as we are to lose him. I'm sure it was hard for the staff as well, as they had all become attached to him," said syndicate manager Mary Lou Griffin.
     A Grade 1 stakes-placed half-brother to champion Chief's Crown, Tribunal had entered stud in 2003. He sired 2006 Washington champion two-year-old filly Judicature in his first crop and led all state freshman sires with earnings of $102,024, good enough to rank him third on that year's juvenile sire list. 
     Last year, Tribunal continued to lead all second crop sires with earnings of $492,133. Among his runners in 2007 were multiple stakes winner Mulcahy, the frontrunner to be named Washington champion three-year-old colt or gelding, and three stakes-placed fillies.
     Tribunal was produced out of Secretariat's stakes-winning daughter Six Crowns, also the dam of Grade 1 winner Classic Crown.--January 11.



CHRB Okays Santa Anita-to-Hollypark Switch
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
      The California Horse Racing Board voted unanimously Tuesday to give the Los Angeles Turf Club the option of running all or some of its races at Hollywood Park if a problem with the main track that forced LATC to cancel the last three days of racing at Santa Anita Park is not quickly resolved.
     "We are removing any regulatory impediment from running Santa Anita's races at Hollywood Park," explained CHRB Chairman Richard B. Shapiro from his office in Calabasas, one of eight publicly noticed locations with telephone access for participation in a special teleconference meeting of the CHRB. 
     "This meeting is not designed to decide that racing should move to Hollywood Park. That would be up to the industry stakeholders to decide. Our desire is to remove any restrictions for the benefit of all parties," he said.
     Santa Anita replaced its dirt track last year with the synthetic Cushion Track surface, which includes a vertical, piped, underground drainage system. However, during heavy rains the new Cushion Track has not been drying out as designed, resulting in unsuitable racing conditions.
     Santa Anita General Manager George Haines submitted a formal request for their current license covering the 2008 winter-spring meet to be amended to permit LATC to run at Hollywood Park if the Cushion Track at Santa Anita remains unsuitable for racing.
     In response, Chairman Shapiro called the special meeting. In a roll-call vote, Chairman Shapiro, Vice Chairman John Harris, and Commissioners John Amerman, John Andreini, Jesse Choper, and Marie Moretti voted unanimously to amend the license application.--January 8.



Magna Appoints Ron Charles as Its New Leader
The following is a press release of Magna Entertainment Corporation.
     Magna Entertainment Corp. ("MEC") announced today that it has appointed Ron Charles to the position of Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation. 
     Reporting directly to Frank Stronach, MEC's Chairman and Interim Chief Executive
Officer, Mr. Charles will be responsible for all operational aspects of MEC's business units, including horseracing, gaming, XpressBet.com, AmTote International and MEC's investments in TrackNet Media and HRTV.
     Mr. Charles joined MEC in 2004 as Executive Director of MEC California. Mr. Charles is a long-time owner and breeder of thoroughbred race horses and is the past Chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
     Mr. Stronach stated: "I am very pleased that Ron has accepted the Chief Operating Officer position and taken on the added responsibilities that go along with it. In addition to his new corporate responsibilities, Ron will continue to play a vital role as Executive Director of MEC California. I have had a chance to work with Ron for a number of years now and he has my complete confidence." Mr. Stronach also noted that "we remain focused on working to improve MEC's operating results while executing our debt elimination plan."
     "I look forward to taking on this new position," Mr. Charles said. "The next year or so will be crucial in the development of MEC, and I am confident that I can play an important role in its future success. Frank Stronach has put together an excellent management team and I look forward to working with them and other industry stakeholders to address our current challenges and those that lie ahead."--January 7.



Audio Available  for CHRB's Special Meeting
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     Concerning the special teleconference meeting of the California Horse Racing Board scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.on Tuesday, January 8, non-participants can dial (888) 790-1713 and enter the code 9818308 to listen but not speak during the meeting. When asked for the leader's name, the response must be "Richard Smith."
     Persons wishing to speak during the teleconference must go to one of the locations listed in the Notice of Meeting, which is available on the CHRB website.
     The CHRB also is attempting to arrange for an Internet audio link, which would be accessed through the CHRB website. Please check the website to determine if this link has become available.--January 7.



CHRB May Okay Moving Santa Anita Dates
The following is a California Horse Racing Board press release.
     The California Horse Racing Board will conduct a special meeting by teleconference Tuesday to consider allowing the Los Angeles Turf Club to move some or all of its racing dates to Hollywood Park if the drainage problem that forced LATC to cancel races at Santa Anita Park on Saturday is not quickly resolved.
     Santa Anita replaced its dirt track with the synthetic Cushion Track surface this year, and like the other synthetic tracks at Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and Golden Gate Fields, the Santa Anita engineered surface includes a vertical, piped, underground drainage system. However, problems with the Cushion Track surface at Santa Anita are preventing the drainage system from functioning properly, resulting in unsuitable racing conditions during heavy rains.
     "As chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, I am calling this meeting at the request of Santa Anita to amend their license application to permit them to run races in Inglewood if that becomes necessary, which hopefully it won't," said Richard B. Shapiro. "It will be a telephonic meeting, accessible to the public at specific locations.
     "If the problem is something that cannot be corrected reasonably quickly, and if it is going to take weeks to get Santa Anita back in shape for racing, then I certainly as one individual commissioner would advocate that we as a Board adopt an emergency measure, so that we would be able to shift racing over to Hollywood Park until the Santa Anita track is once again suitable for racing."
     Chairman Shapiro said he has been in contact with executives at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, and "everyone agrees we need to take whatever action is necessary for the welfare of our industry."
     The Board issued a mandate last year requiring all California racetracks offering four weeks or more of continuous thoroughbred racing to install a synthetic surface.
     "We issued this mandate after we held a number of study sessions to which we invited everyone in the industry to participate and interview the various vendors interesting in installing their surfaces in California," explained the chairman. "We took this very bold step because we were seeing too many equine injuries, too many equine fatalities, and declining field sizes. After months of deliberation and public comment, the Board adopted the mandate. At the time the mandate was approved, all segments of the industry were unanimously in support of the Board's action.
     "I still believe in our decision. These synthetic surfaces, despite their newness and the learning curve to properly maintain them, have contributed to a nearly 50-percent decrease in equine racing fatalities. And I believe we also will see a decrease in fatalities and injuries during training as well. Certainly the data from Del Mar would support that. Additionally, field sizes in both Northern and Southern California have grown since those surfaces were installed, which in turn has stimulated more wagering on California racing. At Santa Anita right now we have a specific problem with one track, which should not be an indictment of synthetic surfaces."
     CHRB Vice Chairman John Harris commented, "Let's not view this temporary cancellation of racing at Santa Anita as any sort of indictment of synthetic tracks in general. These tracks are being proven every day to be working and have kept a great many horses sounder than they would be without them. Northern California received far more rain than the south, yet the Tapeta track there is still getting excellent comments from horsemen and fans. Let's all work together to get through the Santa Anita challenges. I am very pleased that Hollywood Park has offered the use of their track if a longer-term fix is needed at Santa Anita. We are fortunate that a good option is available."
     The meeting will commence at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8. The meeting and teleconference locations, each of which will be accessible to the public, are as follows: 5000 N. Parkway Calabasas, Suite 210, Calabasas; CHRB Headquarters Conference Room, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300, Sacramento; Hollywood Park Turf Club Board Room, 1050 S. Prairie Avenue, Inglewood; Golden Gate Fields Administrative Office Conference Room, 1100 E. Shore Highway, Albany; 220 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo; University of California School of Law, Boalt Hall, Office 431 North, Berkeley; 23300 West Oakland Avenue, Coalinga; and Santa Anita Park Conference Room, 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia.--January 6.



Windfall Farms Shuts Down Stallion Operation
     Windfall Farms, one of California's major Thoroughbred facilities, has eliminated its stallion division and will concentrate on breaking and training, according to a spokesperson at the Paso Robles farm.
     At present, the farm will restrict its public services to breaking and training. There are no plans for other public offerings, though that policy may change in the future.
     The six stallions who stood at the farm last year have scattered to a variety of other locations. Reba's Gold has gone to New Mexico, Crafty C. T. has gone to Victory Rose Thoroughbreds, Iron Cat and Capsized have gone to Eagle Oak Ranch, and Helmsman is going to New Zealand.
     Siberian Summer's 2008 location hasn't been determined. Muqtarib, who was to have stood at Windfall this year, will go to Victory Rose Thoroughbreds.--January 4.



Buyer Didn't Pay, Barretts to Resell 2-Year-Olds
The following is a Barretts Equine Ltd. press release.
     Eight yearlings purchased at the 2007 California's October Yearling Sale and being pointed to 2008 2-year-old sales will be re-sold at the 2008 Barretts January Mixed Sale on Tuesday, January 22. 
     These eight 2-year-olds have been sales prepped by B.C.3. Thoroughbreds and will be sold, without reserve, for the account of a purchaser in default. The eight yearlings are (for the catalog pages, click on the hip numbers):

35......JUST GOOD, 2006 b.c., Milwaukee Brew - Daybydaybyday 
66......2006 dk.b./br.f., Decarchy - Iknowalittlegirl 
67......TALKIN' BIRD, 2006 ch.f., Birdonthewire - Inuendo 
91......2006 dk.b./br.f., Benchmark - My Annie T 
99......2006 ch.f., Tribal Rule - Olive the Twist 
106.....2006 dk.b./br.c., Siphon (BRZ) - Possuletta Sue 
140.....BAD ARNOLD, 2006 dk.b./br.c., Tribal Rule - Tantalizing 
145.....2006 dk.b./br.f., Benchmark - Tough Berta

For information regarding these horses, please contact John Brocklebank of B.C.3. Thoroughbreds at (801) 330-1032, or  Barretts Equine Limited. Phone: (800) 467-7379; fax (909) 629-2155, or e-mail.--January 4.



Muqtarib Moved to Victory Rose Thoroughbreds
     Muqtarib, a Group 2-winning son of Gone West, has been moved from Windfall Farms, Paso Robles, to Victory Rose Thoroughbreds, Vacaville, it was announced Thursday.
     The 12-year-old is the sire of 41 winners from 69 starters with earnings of $1,036,039, including stakes winner Whatsthenameman, who set a Santa Anita track record for two furlongs in his second start and won the Malcolm Anderson Stakes at Bay Meadows in his third. He's earned $85,696. 
     Muqtarib won the Group 2 Chester Stakes at Goodwood in England at 2 and an allowance race at Belmont Park at 4. He retired with earnings of $140,423 in 15 starts.
     He is out of Shicklah, by The Minstrel, co-champion 2-year-old filly in Germany. She is also the dam of stakes winners Ra'a and Janib.
     Muqtarib will continue to stand at a fee of $3,500, live foal
     (For related comments, click here.).--January 4.



Equibase Announces 2007 Racing Leaders
The following is a press release of The Jockey Club.
     Todd Pletcher, Garrett Gomez and Stronach Stables head the individual lists of the leading trainers, jockeys and owners, respectively, by North American earnings in 2007, according to final statistics released today by Equibase Company LLC, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.
     Curlin led all Thoroughbreds in 2007 with North American earnings of $5,102,800. Following Curlin was Street Sense with $3,205,000 and English Channel with $2,640,000.
     The year-end compilations are distributed annually by Equibase and include results from Thoroughbred racing in North America only. The top 100 North American leaders in each category are accessible at http://www.equibase.com
     Pletcher topped the leading trainers' list for the fourth consecutive year in 2007. Pletcher-trained horses won 289 races from 1,228 starts for earnings of $28,111,697, surpassing the North American earnings mark of $26,820,243 he set the year before. Steve Asmussen finished second with earnings of $23,898,844 from 488 wins and 2,273 starts.
     Completing the list of top 10 trainers by North American earnings in 2007 were: Robert Frankel, $12,168,647 (123 wins/566 starts); Doug O'Neill, $10,156,219 (152/1,046); William Mott, $9,949,267 (156/774); Scott Lake, $9,724,556 (485/2,345); Richard Dutrow Jr., $9,604,524 (166/659); Kiaran McLaughlin, $9,305,403 (118/524); Gary Contessa, $7,597,499 (176/1,230); and Jerry Hollendorfer, $7,309,698 (244/1,012). 
     Garrett Gomez, with earnings of $22,800,074, topped the North American leading jockeys' list for a second consecutive year in 2007. He rode the winners of 265 races from 1,258 mounts. Robby Albarado finished second, with 253 wins from 1,260 mounts and earnings of $19,399,249.
     Rounding out the list of top 10 jockeys by North American earnings in 2007 were: John Velazquez, $18,059,713 (199 wins/1,128 mounts); Cornelio Velasquez, $15,997,913 (262/1,619); Rafael Bejarano, $15,892,188 (241/1,469); Ramon Dominguez, $15,328,920 (319/1,332); Eibar Coa, $14,237,059 (285/1,628); Edgar Prado, $13,662,743 (207/1,117); Javier Castellano, $12,551,303 (168/1,107); and Julien Leparoux, $12,188,975 (261/1,404).
     Stronach Stables, North America's leading owner in 2002, won 128 races from 537 starts and earned $7,076,138 in North America during 2007 to lead all owners. Runner-up was Zayat Stables, LLC, which won 98 races from 521 starts for earnings of $6,171,916.
     Completing the top 10 owners by North American earnings in 2007 were: Stonestreet Stables, Padua Stables, George Bolton and Midnight Cry Stables, $5,080,000 (5 wins/8 starts); Maggi Moss, $4,225,437 (196/725); Ken and Sarah Ramsey, $3,996,973 (106/380); Melnyk Racing Stables, Inc., $3,967,399 (69/360); Live Oak Plantation, $3,805,416 (54/293); Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, $3,792,466 (95/515); Fox Hill Farms Inc., $3,705,486 (38/162); and Jim Tafel LLC, $3,655,913 (17/103).
     In addition to the official North American racing leaders' lists available at http://www.equibase.com, Equibase also provides a second set of leaders' lists that includes the results of the Dubai World Cup card from March 31, 2007, at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. Inclusion of these international earnings does not affect the leader in each of the four categories. Including these international earnings, Todd Pletcher remained the leading trainer with earnings of $28,571,697, Garrett Gomez the leading jockey with earnings of $23,800,074, Stronach Stables the leading owner with earnings of $7,076,138 and Curlin the leading Thoroughbred with earnings of $5,102,800.
     Equibase Company is a partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America and serves as the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information. In addition to year-end rankings of the top trainers, jockeys, owners and horses, the company's website, http://www.equibase.com, features daily rankings of the top 100 by category for the current year as well as an ever-increasing menu of racing information and handicapping products for handicappers of every skill level.--January 1.
 
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