California Horse Racing

Butler to Receive TOC's Ed Friendly Award

Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING and President, 1/ST CONTENT, has been selected by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) as recipient of the 2020 Ed Friendly Industry Service Award. The award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions and service in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Originally known as the TOC Chairman's Award, it was renamed for the legendary television producer, Thoroughbred owner and TOC founding member following his death in 2007. Former recipients include Mace Siegel, John Harris, Bob and Beverly Lewis, Jerry and Ann Moss, and Clement...

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Political Climate in California

At the start of last month, a small cadre of animal rights protestors snuck onto the Golden Gate Fields racetrack, lay down with arms interlocked in pipes, and halted live racing--as well as a vaccination drive on facility grounds--until police intervention saw their removal. While the incident had a flash-in-the-pan quality, it had the corollary effect of reminding those within the sport here in the Golden State of the somewhat precarious position in which it still finds itself--an important part of the economic puzzle, employing tens of thousands, but one...

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'21 SoCal Dates Set; September Los Al Meet Returns After Year Absence

As in past years, the concept of "compromise" was accentuated in the assignment of 2021 race dates by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) at its Oct. 22 meeting. But this year, crafting a statewide racing calendar based on cooperation took on even more importance. That's because both the Southern and Northern California circuits have been significantly altered by closures and cancellations over the past 18 months due to several spates of equine fatalities, unseasonably wet weather, wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of those factors in mind, the...

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'Entire Ecosystem in Jeopardy': CA Industry Hit Hard by Pandemic

The financial toll from COVID-19 on the racing industry in California, spurred by the suspension of live Thoroughbred racing, has been sharp and swift. Backstretch healthcare and mental illness services have been pared back, those in charge of other programs reliant on betting revenue are wondering how to bolster coffers if the broader economy nose-dives, while the financial thumb-screws have been further twisted on stretched-thin trainers. What's more, all this is playing out against an economic backdrop that was already shaky. The California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) latest annual report...

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