California Horse Racing Board

Overlap Between Ferndale and Golden Gate Still in Limbo

A dispute that began in October over whether Ferndale (Humboldt County Fair) will once again have to run its second of two weeks of racing at the end of August against overlapping competition from the commercial licensee Golden Gate Fields (GGF) will now likely extend into March. There are multiple reasons for the impasse. But the two main sticking points that emerged at Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) were: 1) The two tracks, plus stakeholders from the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF), Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), and...

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Trainer Mullins Suspended, Fined for Clenbuterol Positive in Del Mar Winner

Trainer Jeff Mullins has been suspended 30 days and fined $1,500 as the result of a "settlement agreement and mutual release" with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to adjudicate a clenbuterol positive triggered by one of his winning trainees at Del Mar last summer. The conditions of the agreement call for Mullins to serve 15 days of the suspension, with the remaining 15 days conditionally stayed. The stewards' ruling, dated Jan. 7, stated that Mullins is "placed on probation for ONE YEAR from the date of this ruling and...

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CHRB Spat Erupts Over Ferndale's Future

In the wake of a recent embezzlement arrest and a spate of resignations by Humboldt County Fair Association executives, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) commissioner Thomas Hudnut on Thursday questioned whether or not the Northern California half-miler better known as Ferndale would be able to operate its traditional late-August race meet in 2023. Jim Morgan, the legal counsel for the Humboldt County Fair, immediately provided assurances that Ferndale's racing would not be affected by the in-process criminal audit and management shakeup. And another CHRB member, vice chair Oscar Gonzales, quickly...

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Baltas Suspended a Year, Fined $10,000 for Alleged Medication Violations

Trainer Richard Baltas is facing a one-year suspension and a $10,000 fine for the alleged race-day administration of substances to his horses 21 times over roughly a three-week span this past spring at Santa Anita Park, according to a ruling posted Friday on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) website. Baltas told Daily Racing Form that he's "terribly disappointed" and plans to appeal. In a bit of an odd legal twist, timing-wise, Baltas is already engaged in a legal fight with the CHRB over essentially these very same allegations. Back...

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Hollendorfer Writs Denied in CHRB Case

The Superior Court of San Diego judge hearing the case between trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has denied both writs of mandate filed by the trainer. The two writs constituted a twisty legal knot essentially surrounding which entity--the tracks or the agency regulating California's racing industry--had the ultimate jurisdiction to bar the trainer from licensed premises in the state, a hearing for which was held on Oct. 8. According to Hollendorfer's attorney, Drew Couto, both decisions are appealable, "and those decisions are under consideration." The...

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No Matter Which Way HISA Goes, CHRB Confident on Rules Consistency

Despite a near-term national forecast clouded with uncertainty over last week's United States Court of Appeals order declaring the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to be unconstitutional, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) commissioners on Tuesday expressed confidence their state will be able to weather the projected turbulence over HISA's in-limbo legality better than other jurisdictions. The reason, according to staffers and commissioners who spoke during the Nov. 22 monthly meeting, is that the CHRB has been proactively advancing safety and medication rules for the past few years, and a...

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Trainer Doug O'Neill Suspended 60 Days

Trainer Doug O'Neill has been suspended 60 days, fined $10,000, and put on probation for one year stemming from a medication positive by his starter Worse Read Sanchez (Square Eddie) at Golden Gate Fields May 1, according to a ruling posted on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) website. The 3-year-old gelding finished third in Golden Gate's Silky Sullivan S., his only start at the Northern California track. Worse Read Sanchez, who is owned by Reddam Racing LLC, has since made five additional starts at Santa Anita and Del Mar,...

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'23 Dates for Northern California Edge Closer to Finalization

A 2023 race dates template for the Northern California circuit came closer to being finalized at Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting, with commissioners unanimously voting to largely mirror the framework of the 2022 schedule. The lone exception was that the board held off on a decision on whether Ferndale (Humboldt County Fair) would once again have to run its second of two weeks of racing at the end of August against overlapping competition from the commercial licensee Golden Gate Fields. That part of the vote was parsed out...

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Arthur Accuses Vet Med Board of 'Regulatory Extortion'

At the quarterly California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) meeting Wednesday, the board acknowledged that yawning practical and philosophical differences between the agency and the state's equine practitioners urgently need to be addressed. According to Richard Sullivan, chair of the VMB's Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee, this disconnect concerns approaches to record keeping and the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR), calling efforts to bridge this divide as "a huge task, but a very necessary one." During the public comment period at the start of the meeting, former California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director...

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Jamgotchian Sues CHRB Over Name Controversy

Thoroughbred owner Jerry Jamgotchian, who has a decades-long history as both a plaintiff and defendant in lawsuits involving horse racing entities, went after the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) in federal court on Monday, claiming that his constitutional and civil rights were violated when the stewards at Los Alamitos Race Course denied entry to one of his horses this past summer over its purportedly controversial name. Although the Oct. 17 United States District Court (Central District, Southern Division) civil complaint puts forth a legal argument based on whether the horse...

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CHRB Issues Advisory

Scott Chaney, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB)'s executive director, issued the following advisory on Sept. 21: "On April 21, 2021, the amended language to Rule 1588 (Horse Ineligible to Start in a Race) became effective. More specifically, that rule requires that in order to run, a horse must be on the grounds of a CHRB inclosure and in the care of a licensed trainer for seven days prior to the race. Horses cannot leave the grounds during this seven day period except to travel on a van between CHRB...

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Blea to Return As California Equine Medical Director Sept. 21

Jeff Blea, on administrative leave from his post as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director since early January after the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) successfully petitioned to have his license temporarily suspended, is set to officially return to the position Sept. 21 having reached a settlement with the VMB, according to Michael Casey, Blea's attorney. As a condition of the settlement, Blea is required to undergo continuing education classes in record keeping, Casey said. Blea will also be on a three-year probationary period. "If you look at...

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