california racing

'Stepped Up the Quality': Fasig-Tipton California Sale Tuesday

The one-day Fasig-Tipton California Fall Yearlings and Horses of Racing Age sale, which has firmly established its spot on the calendar for West Coast buyers, will get underway Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Fairplex Sales Pavilion near Pomona. Expectations for the sale, now in its fifth edition, continue to grow every year. "If you race in California, you have to have Cal-breds in your barn," said Fasig-Tipton's California representative and former California-based trainer Mike Machowsky. "You need a balance in your stables and a lot of trainers and owners realize...

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CHRB Sets '24 NorCal Schedule, but GGF's Closure Remains 'Elephant in the Room'

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Thursday approved a calendar that fleshed out the Northern California racing schedule through mid-September 2024. But the initiative still left race-date gaps late in the year that must be addressed both for next season and the future as stakeholders and regulators attempt to realign the circuit in the wake of news that Golden Gate Fields will not be part of the racing landscape beyond next June. Back on July 16, 1/ST Racing, which owns both Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, announced...

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Legislation Leaves Door Wide Open For Extended Golden Gate Operations

California lawmakers Thursday passed legislation that means if Golden Gate Fields is not licensed to operate beyond July 1 next year, proceeds from simulcast wagering in the north are funneled south when there is no live racing in the northern half of the state after that date. The rule of thumb is that proceeds from wagers made in the "northern zone" stay in Northern California to pay for purses and operational expenses, while the proceeds from wagers made in the "southern zone" stay in Southern California for the same purposes....

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Large Fields, Quality Racing Mark Successful Del Mar Meet

Del Mar marked eight weeks of increased field sizes and high-quality racing that ended Sunday. "Overall, just a tremendous summer of quality racing," Racing Secretary David Jerkens says. "Especially Pacific Classic Day. You look back and see how strong of a card that was. I think some of the winners and horses that ran well on that card have bright futures for the Breeders' Cup." The talk around the racing industry is the field sizes again this year at Del Mar. "It was a robust number that I think any...

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Weekly Stewards And Commissions Rulings, Aug. 15-21

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where. The TDN will also post a roundup of the relevant Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) related rulings from the same week. These will include decisions from around the country. California Track: Del Mar Date: 08/17/2023 Licensee: Tiago Pereira, jockey Penalty: Three-day...

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Santa Anita Returns Traditional Pick Six

Santa Anita Park will return to a traditional $1 Pick Six when its 18-day Autumn Meet opens on Friday, Sept. 29, the track said in a press release early Friday. Officials have responded to the wishes of a vast number of players seeking a return to a more traditional format with 70 percent of the net pool paid to tickets which correctly select all six winners and 30 percent paid in a consolation payoff to those players who select five of six winners. As is the case with the traditional...

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Los Alamitos Backstretch Improvements On The Way

Over the next year, Los Alamitos Race Course will conduct a series of improvement projects throughout its backstretch facilities with the first set of upgrades set to begin immediately, the track said in a release late Thursday. Work will start next Monday with modernizing the men's and women's restroom facilities on the backstretch and new concrete has already been poured into designated areas to help prevent standing water and avoid excess mud around the barns. In June, Los Alamitos completed work on improvements to the receiving barn and testing areas...

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Stronach Group Outlines Plans for Southern California

Two weeks after an initial company announcement on the closure of Golden Gate Fields at the end of the year, The Stronach Group (TSG) issued details Friday on their plans for consolidating racing operations at its Southern California racing and training facilities, Santa Anita and San Luis Rey Downs. The plan--shared via Zoom during a press briefing lasting about 30 minutes--appeared large on big-ticket promises though short on specifics in other key areas, including the broader industry impacts from the closure of Golden Gate Fields. The following details were divulged...

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Senator Feinstein Pens Letter to Stronach Group About Golden Gate Closure

California Senator Dianne Feinstein issued a letter Wednesday to The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns Golden Gate Fields, requesting answers to the reasons behind the planned closure of the track at the end of the year, and the impacts from the company's decision on other industry sectors. Since TSG announced on July 15 with a short statement light on detail the closure of Golden Gate Fields--a momentous decision that figures to upend a way of life for many in California--the company has remained publicly mum when pressed about the decision....

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Greg Ferraro Q&A, Part II: HISA Rollout “Inconsistent and Uneven”

After Sunday's announcement that The Stronach Group (TSG) will close at the end of the year its flagship Northern California racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, the company at the helm of the sale has gone silent, ignoring all of TDN's requests for comment this week. To bring much-needed illumination on this seismic decision, the TDN spoke Thursday morning with Greg Ferraro, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) chairman. Among several points raised, Ferraro shared his thoughts on the need for a fixed hub of racing in Northern California to secure the...

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Northern California Trainers React to Golden Gate Closure, Plot Their Next Moves

Whether someone had the biggest stable in Northern California or a two-horse operation, the news released Sunday that Golden Gate Fields, which opened in 1941, will shut down at the end of the meet in December was a punch to the gut and led to a great deal of uncertainty. Horsemen have just five months to figure out what they will do next. The possibilities are many. They could shift their operations to Santa Anita. They could stay put and hope that the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) circuit...

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With Golden Gate Closing, Can Nor-Cal Fashion Alternative Circuit?

One day on, the fallout from The Stronach Group's (TSG) announcement that it is closing Golden Gate Fields at the end of the year continues to reverberate around the state's beleaguered platoon of trainers, owners, breeders and other stakeholders. "It's like you're Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life, and you're losing your job right before Christmas," said trainer Tim McCanna Monday, while on the road to Del Mar for the track's summer meet. "It just really leaves things up in the air." The reason for the closure of Golden...

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