California Horse Racing Board

Sadler Fined, Suspended for Medication Violations

In a settlement agreement and mutual release with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), leading California trainer John Sadler has been fined $15,000 and handed a 60-day suspension--45 days of which are stayed--for three medication violations dating from 2019. The suspension runs June 29 through June 13. As part of the agreement, Sadler has been placed on probation for one year, ending June 28, 2021. If he incurs any medication violations during that period, the 45 days of stayed suspension will be imposed following a noticed hearing. As first reported...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Why Jerry Bailey is No Fan of the Whip

The whip issue, which never seems to go away, was front and center last week as the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) approved language that would severely limit the use of the riding crop. Under the new rules, horses can be hit on the shoulders and hindquarters, no more than two times in a row without waiting for a response and no more than six times total. That led the Jockeys' Guild to issue a stinging press release that expressed its displeasure with the new rules, calling them "unsafe" and...

[ Read More ]
15 Months in the Making, More Restrictive Whip Rules Finally Pass in California

After initially being deadlocked on a Thursday vote to put off implementing anti-whipping regulations that have been repeatedly delayed since first proposed in March 2019, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) finally voted 4-2 to pass a rule that will prohibit a jockey from striking a mount more than six times during a race, and then only in an underhanded position with no more than two strikes in succession using whips that must meet new CHRB standards to soften the blows. Representatives from the Jockeys' Guild, plus California riders Mike...

[ Read More ]
Hollendorfer Files Amended Complaint Against Stronach Group, Writ Against CHRB

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, barred from The Stronach Group's (TSG) California facilities since June of last year, has fired the latest legal salvo in his ongoing dispute with the company with a first amended complaint against the Los Angeles Turf Club (LATC)--at Santa Anita--filed late last month in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. "We're playing the cards that we are dealt," said Hollendorfer's attorney, Drew Couto, about the reasons behind the latest complaint. "We sought provisional remedies from the outset--we're trying to mitigate his losses by getting...

[ Read More ]
CHRB Bisphosphonates Rule Effective July 1

The California Horse Racing Board's Rule 1867.1, which becomes effective July 1, prohibits the administration of bisphosphonates to any horse within a facility regulated by the CHRB and also prohibits any horse from entering the grounds that has been administered the drug within six months. This means that any horse administered bisphosphonates since Jan. 1, 2020, will not be permitted within any CHRB-regulated facility (racetracks and training centers) within a six-month period of such administration. Additional information on bisphosphonate use in race horses is available on the CHRB website (www.chrb.ca.gov)...

[ Read More ]
Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – A California Wake-up Call

We cannot say this any simpler: American racing does not have a fair and equitable split of the takeout dollar, it has overly and foolishly relied on alternate sources of gaming to supplement purses. So, we remind you--whether you are for or against a 'federal bill,' a Jockey Club member, a commercial breeder, a small syndicate member or anything in between--the status quo is untenable. Something must change. The economics for the sustainability of racing are all askew. ADWs aren't bad--our business REALLY needs them, particularly now. Their percentage of...

[ Read More ]
News Analysis: Amid Crisis, Chaos Rules at CHRB Meeting

At one point in Wednesday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) teleconference meeting, as discussion of yet another agenda item spiraled wildly off-topic and devolved into argumentive cross-talk, chairman Gregory Ferraro, DVM, attempted to restore order by firmly declaring "chaos is not allowed." For some industry participants who vocalized frustration Apr. 22 at how CHRB meetings have become increasingly dominated by anti-racing proponents using allegedly obstructionist tactics to muddle the hours-long monthly proceedings, the chairman's assertion must have seemed like the figurative equivalent of trying to cram toothpaste back into the...

[ Read More ]
Q&A with CHRB Executive Director Scott Chaney

Scott Chaney takes over as the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board at a pivotal time for racing in the state. He will be asked to steer racing through the coronavirus outbreak while focusing on animal welfare and integrity issues. A lawyer, a former assistant trainer and steward, Chaney sat down with the TDN to discuss his thoughts on his new job and tackling the challenges that he will face. TDN: The Stronach Group is trying very hard to have racing resume at Santa Anita and at Golden...

[ Read More ]
New CHRB ED Scott Chaney

Scott Chaney, recently appointed executive director of the CHRB, talks to Bill Finley about the horse welfare and integrity issues he said will be the focus of the board. Chaney said he foresees a total ban of the whip in California within the next few years.

[ Read More ]
Chaney Named Executive Director of CHRB

Scott Chaney, since 2005 a well-respected steward in the state of California, has been appointed the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board. Chaney, whose first day on the job was Apr. 16, replaced Rick Baedeker, who retired Mar. 31. "When I became a steward, I saw my role as enforcing the rules in order to create a safe and fair environment for horses and licensees, as well as to protect the wagering public," said Chaney. "As executive director my duties become more expansive, but my basic role remains...

[ Read More ]
“Not Set Up Like The FBI”: Racing’s Investigative Weak Spots

The shock announcement of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York's indictments against a slew of Thoroughbred veterinarians and trainers—and to a much lesser extent the California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) long-awaited report into the equine fatalities at Santa Anita early last year—cast a kaleidoscopic shadow of speculation and questions marks over the industry. But one of the most salient takeaways from these two developments is surely this: What kind of investigative infrastructure is in place within the sport to catch the cheats and protect the...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Live Racing Hinging on Definition of ‘Essential’

Aqueduct Racetrack has been commandeered by the State of New York to be converted to a COVID-19 hospital. One day after an official from Santa Anita Park predicted a humanitarian crisis could erupt if live racing got shut down, county health officials ordered the spectator-free racing there to cease. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano announced last Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the sport's most prominent participant to disclose an infection. Later that same day, six Belmont Park backstretch workers were additionally confirmed as COVID-19...

[ Read More ]