Craig Fravel

Economic Shortfalls, Safety Improvements In CHRB Report

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has released its annual report, covering both the fiscal year 2019-2020 and the calendar year 2020. As expected, given the onslaught of a global pandemic, it paints a rather grim economic picture, but there are major positives to be gleaned, chiefly in the equine safety arena. When it comes to the business side of the equation, all-breed total handle generation during 2020 declined by 7% over the prior year. Because of a wholesale shift away from bricks and mortar wagering towards ADW platforms last...

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1/ST Continues Support of Jockeys' Guild

1/ST has announced its continued support of the Jockeys' Guild. Under the terms of the agreement between the two organizations, each of 1/ST RACING's venue racetracks (Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, and The Maryland Jockey Club operating Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park) will continue to make payments to the Jockeys' Guild to subsidize health, life and accident insurances, as well as short-term and long-term disability benefits for jockeys who are members of the Guild and ride at 1/ST RACING racetracks. "1/ST RACING is pleased to continue...

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California ADW Agreement Set to Boost Purses by $15 Million

With many wheels of California's daily industry operations greased through wagering made at bricks and mortar venues, a pandemic-driven wholesale betting shift towards ADW platforms has thrown a sizeable wrench into the works, prompting something of a fiscal scramble to readjust. Just last week, the Southern California Stabling & Vanning Racing Committee announced a set of stop-gap funding measures to grapple with a $2-million deficit and maintain the stabling status-quo in the southern portion of the state during 2021. On Wednesday, the Thoroughbred Owners of California ("TOC") announced a new...

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The Stronach Group Joins PETA in Urging Ban on Sale of Horses to South Korea

After viewing PETA's video expose of the slaughter of racehorses in South Korea, including the stallion Private Vow, The Stronach Group is endorsing PETA's efforts to ban the sale of North American Thoroughbreds to South Korean racing interests. PETA can now show that Private Vow was sold to South Korea for stud duty in 2014 and ended up being slaughtered for meat in July. He sired 196 foals in the U.S. and South Korea. Belinda Stronach, chair and president of The Stronach Group, said, "The Stronach Group is urging all...

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Newby, Merz Appointed To New Roles At Santa Anita

Officials at Santa Anita have announced that Nate Newby has been promoted to the position of general manager, while Chris Merz will add racing secretary to his current role of director of racing. Newby has most recently served Santa Anita as its senior vice president and general manager and comes as Aidan Butler transitions to his new position as chief operating officer of 1/ST Racing and president of 1/ST Content in Florida. Butler previously headed California operations for Santa Anita's parent company The Stronach Group. Newby, who has been at...

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Santa Anita to Increase Overnight Purses by 10% for 2020-21 Season

Santa Anita Park announced Saturday that overnight purses for its 2020-21 season, which begins in its traditional Dec. 26 card, will be raised by 10% to a daily average of $533,000. The meet will run through June 20, 2021. Six stakes on opening day include the GI Malibu S., GI La Brea S. and GI American Oaks. Other meet highlights include the GI Santa Anita H. Mar. 6 and GI Santa Anita Derby Apr. 3. Click for a complete stakes schedule, pending approval by the Thoroughbred Owners of California. "Building...

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Aidan Butler Appointed to COO, 1/ST Racing and President, 1/ST Content

The Stronach Group's Aidan Butler has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING and to President, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST announced Thursday. Butler joined The Stronach Group in 2018 and has been front and center in California leading the racing operations teams at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields as the Acting Executive Director of California Racing Operations. In addition, he also served as Chief Strategy Officer for The Stronach Group. Butler will work directly with Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING, to further develop the company's racing...

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Preakness Added To Breeders' Cup Challenge Series

Officials at Breeders' Cup Limited and The Stronach Group have announced that the Oct. 3 GI Preakness S., the final leg of this year's reconstituted Triple Crown, has been added to the Breeders' Cup Challenge series and will offer the winner an all-expenses-paid berth in the starting gate for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland Nov. 7. It will mark the first time that a Triple Crown races is part of the series. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional first leg of the Triple Crown was postponed...

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Foal and Stallion Nominators Elect 19 Breeders' Cup Members

The Breeders' Cup announced Tuesday that 19 individuals were elected to serve as Breeders' Cup Members. Voting for the 2020 Member election by Breeders' Cup 2019 foal and stallion nominators was concluded at 5:00 p.m. ET June 8. The following individuals, listed alphabetically, received the most votes of the Breeders' Cup nominators to fill 19 Member seats. Each Member will serve a four-year term: Conrad Bandoroff Barbara Banke Jimmy Bell Boyd Browning Doug Cauthen Craig Fravel Eric Gustavson Dr. Andreas Jacobs W. Gray Lyster IV Clem Murphy Maria Niarchos-Gouazé David...

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Thoroughbred Safety Committee Announces 2020 Safety Protocols

The Thoroughbred Safety Committee announced three new recommendations to the industry to further improve the health, welfare, and safety of its equine athletes. The recommendations call for: - Increased self-reporting statistics from the Equine Injury Database - Mandatory stand-down period for horses in the care of trainers determined to be in possession of or intending to administer illegal substances to racehorses - Banning the presence of clenbuterol in Thoroughbred racehorses and Thoroughbreds consigned for public auction The full text of the recommendations can be found on The Jockey Club website....

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Craig Fravel Joins TDN Writers' Room

As the overseer of two of the biggest tracks still running races in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, The Stronach Group's CEO Craig Fravel has a lot of responsibility right now. As Saturday's GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream nears and the GI Santa Anita Derby follows next weekend, Fravel stopped by the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland to talk with Bill Finley about this tumultuous time. "Things seem to change on an hourly basis," Fravel said. "I think I was in Florida a week and a...

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TDN Writers' Room for March 26, With TSG's Craig Fravel

Santa Anita and Gulfstream are only two of the six tracks still racing in the U.S. This week, we check in with Craig Fravel from the Stronach Group to talk about the precautions they're taking. Also, the writers talk about the latest developments in horse racing with the coronavirus, and the challenges horsemen face.

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