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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“Horrifically Wrong”: California VMB and Equine Practitioners at Odds

Last month marked the resumption of business as usual for Jeff Blea, back as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director after an eight-month plus enforced hiatus due to the California Veterinary Medical Board's (VMB) controversial step of suspending his license. In a settlement with the medical board, Blea agreed to continuing education classes in record keeping, a remittance to the VMB of $131,464 for the investigation costs, and a three-year probationary period. Those believing the return of Blea to his prior role would bring an end to the...

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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 Officially Returns As CHRB Equine Medical Director

Jeff Blea formally resumed his duties as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Wednesday, more than eight months after being sidelined from the post due to a rare and controversial move by the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to have his license temporarily suspended for what transpired to be minor infractions. "What I've been through, I've learned a lot," Blea told the TDN over the weekend. "I need to get back to work for the CHRB because they've been extremely supportive. The horsemen, they've been extremely supportive. They...

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SoCal Dates Set; Cal Expo Could Race Nights in '23

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Thursday approved a 2023 schedule for the Southern California circuit that largely mirrors this year's version. A final vote on the Northern California schedule was put off until the CHRB's October meeting. But one new idea floated for the NorCal circuit during the Sep. 15 meeting could involve the Cal Expo state fair meet running either twilight or night programs next year. Concerns over dangerously high temperatures during July, when Cal Expo is expected to receive its three-week block of dates, were cited...

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Former Chair of CHRB Mancini Passes Away

Patsy Freeman "Patti" Mancini passed away peacefully Aug. 14 in Thousand Oaks, California, at the age of 86. She was the first female vice president at Rockwell International and received numerous awards from NASA. She also served on various boards unrelated to aeronautics, including the California Horse Racing Board. As a racing commissioner, she actively sought to reform medication regulations during nearly six years of service on the Board, from September 1980 to March 1986. She is survived by her son, William Mancini and his wife, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews....

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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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Alleging 'Destroyed' Reputation, Baltas Sues CHRB for $12 Million

Claiming that the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has "destroyed" his reputation as a trainer by issuing a 47-count complaint pertaining to the alleged race-day administration of substances to his horses and then purportedly violating his rights to due process when he tried to resolve the charges, Richard Baltas is suing the CHRB, its commissioners, and executive director for at least $12 million in damages. According to a lawsuit filed Aug. 17 in Superior Court for the State of California (Los Angeles County), the lawsuit also stated that the CHRB...

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CHRB In-Person Meeting Wednesday, August 17

The California Horse Racing Board will conduct an in-person meeting Wednesday, Aug. 17 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Del Mar Hilton. The meeting will be open to the public. Those providing unsolicited public comment on individual agenda items will be limited to two minutes and comments must relate specifically to the agenda items; regarding agenda item #8, Public Comment, no further comments will be permitted after 30 minutes. For those who do not attend, the webcast audio link on the CHRB website will provide a way to listen to...

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UK Gluck Center's Ernie Bailey Talks Thoroughbred Genetic Diversity Study On Writers' Room

The opinion-heavy but heretofore science-light debate over whether or not certain stallions covering record numbers of mares per year will weaken the Thoroughbred breed gained a lot of clarity in late June when the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center released the findings from part one of its genetic diversity study. Tuesday, UK professor Ernie Bailey, PhD, joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to explain the major takeaways from the Gluck Center's research, what it means for the breeding...

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CHRB Revises Media Policy

The CHRB rescinded its recent ruling requiring members of the media to be licensed through the and will instead allow the standard practice of allowing tracks to provide credentials. They released the following statement Wednesday: "While the California Horse Racing Board values safety and security in the stable area, it also recognizes the importance of a free and independent press. After considerable feedback, rather than requiring licenses or visitors passes for stable area media access, the CHRB will allow publicity departments to issue credentials for visitor access to the stable...

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CHRB Advances 90-Day Layoff Scrutiny Rules

With the aim of reducing the incidence of large-bone fractures, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted unanimously Thursday to advance two new rules that would require examinations and veterinary and training record disclosures for every horse that has not had a recorded work or a race within the past 90 days. Citing the "concerning rate" of large-bone fractures in horses returning to training after extended periods, the CHRB meeting packet stated that, "An initial examination will be required by both a regulatory veterinarian and the attending veterinarian, including review...

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