CHRB Offers 'Good Faith' Leniency On Entries Unregistered With HISA

Early last month, Lisa Lazarus, CEO of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, set industry tongues wagging when indicating that horses unregistered with HISA by the launch date of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) would be scratched if entered to race. With HISA D-Day now upon the industry, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) offered guidance Friday about how it would be handling unregistered horses both this weekend and the weeks ahead, as per revised guidance from the HISA Authority. The long and short of it is...

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Alvarado Suspended, Miller Fined by Los Alamitos Stewards

Last month, trainer Peter Miller was fined $10,000 and suspended seven days by the Santa Anita Park stewards for violating the California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) rules against program training. The CHRB contended that Miller had remained involved in the daily training of horses after they had been turned over to and listed under the name of his former assistant, Ruben Alvarado. Alvarado was named in the original complaint, but had avoided any formal sanctions until last Friday, when he was suspended 14 days by the Los Alamitos stewards for...

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Report: Baltas Hearing Postponed Until At Least July 31

With a potential fine or suspension looming, California trainer Richard Baltas will not face a scheduled hearing with stewards at Los Alamitos Friday after Darrell Vienna, the trainer's lawyer, successfully asked for a postponement. The story was first reported by Daily Racing Form. Vienna told DRF Monday that he has received a 30-day continuance in the case from Los Alamitos stewards. A new hearing has not been scheduled, with the earliest it can come being July 31 at Del Mar. "I didn't receive the full complaint until seven days before...

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CHRB Issues Complaint Against Richard Baltas

Between April 15 and May 8 this year, 23 horses trained by Richard Baltas were allegedly administered a substance on race-day in violation of the California Horse Racing Board's (CHRB) rules, according to a complaint dated Tuesday, June 21. The complaint states that surveillance video caught Baltas's employees allegedly administering the substance on the days they were entered to race. In California, trainers face tight restrictions about what medications and supplements can be given to a horse within 48 hours of a race. Baltas has been ordered to appear at...

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Weight Breaks for California Jockeys in Pipeline

Following through on a discussion started at last month's meeting, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) advanced Thursday a rule amendment designed to provide jockeys with weight breaks that are more in line with 21st Century human physiology. By unanimous vote, the CHRB proposed Thoroughbred rule changes that would raise the minimum weight for established riders from 112 pounds to 114 pounds in overnight races (subject to apprentice allowances) and from 103 to 105 pounds in handicap and stakes races. The board also advanced a separate amendment that would reduce the...

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Peter Miller Fined, Suspended for Alleged Program Training

Trainer Peter Miller has been fined $10,000 and suspended seven days by the Santa Anita Park stewards for violating the California Horse Racing Board's rule against program training. The ruling was made pursuant to a stipulated agreement and mutual release with the CHRB. As previously reported, the CHRB filed a complaint earlier this week alleging that Miller remained involved in the daily training of horses after they had been turned over to and listed under the name of his former assistant Ruben Alvarado. Alvarado was named in a related complaint,...

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California's 'Lens of Equity' Could Benefit Jockeys

As part of a mandate that flows from the governor on down to the commissioners he has appointed to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), the "lens of equity" may soon be focused squarely on the state's jockey colony. Fear not, California riders: This initiative means the owners of male horses that you pilot to victory in certain graded stakes might soon be compelled to award you a one-time breeding right if that winner goes on to become a stallion. That's a practice that was once a "gentleman's agreement" type...

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California First State to Opt Into HISA

California became the first state to opt into the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) enforcement structure on Thursday when the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted 7-0 to collect and remit fees on behalf of the new federal HISA Authority. For 2022, HISA has assessed California's portion of the Authority's budget to be $1.4 million, a figure that is based on starts and purses, and amounts to roughly 10% of the overall nationwide budget. It includes only the safety portion of the HISA program that will go into effect...

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Former CHRB Chairman Winner Dies

Courtesy California Horse Racing Board Chuck Winner, an internationally recognized expert in public affairs, crisis communications, and campaign management, who served on the California Horse Racing Board from 2012 to 2019, five of those years as chairman, passed away Thursday morning, Mar. 24, from natural causes at the age of 81. Mr. Winner guided the CHRB through difficult times, most notably during the winter of 2019 when a rash of equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park attracted worldwide scrutiny. He led the push for improved safety measures to protect horses...

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CHRB Addressing Recent Los Al Deaths

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) issued a release Thursday addressing a spate of recent deaths at Los Alamitos. The track is currently holding its traditional mixed-breed meet of predominantly Quarter Horses and lower-level races with Thoroughbreds. The CHRB release read as follows: "The California Horse Racing Board has been in contact with personnel and executives at Los Alamitos Race Course concerning the four recent catastrophic injuries of horses at that facility: "The 6-year-old mare Ballet Royalty finished fifth (last) in the first race at Los Alamitos on March 12....

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CHRB Elaborates on Specifics of Baffert Suspension

Earlier this week, a Kentucky judge denied trainer Bob Baffert's attempts to stay a 90-day suspension related to Medina Spirit's betamethasone-positive disqualification from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). While the appeals process plays out, the question now is: What will happen to the nearly 100-horses in Baffert's California-based stable if the suspension goes into effect on April 4. As the TDN previously reported, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) will honor the 90-day suspension metered down to Baffert through a system of reciprocity between jurisdictions. That honor system is...

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Wednesday Hearing on Stay of Blea Suspension

California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Jeff Blea, sidelined from that role since early January, is headed to Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday, seeking a stay on the California Veterinary Medical Board's interim suspension of his veterinary license. If the court doesn't grant a stay on the interim suspension--pending a formal hearing on the merits of the veterinary board's accusations against him--Blea asks the court to determine whether in the interim he can resume his duties as equine medical director and as a member of the Anti-Doping...

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