Golden Gate Fields

Northern CA Advisory Committee Formally Recognized By CARF

The California Authority of Racing Fairs has formally recognized a group of owners, breeders and trainers in Northern California to serve as an advisory committee for the upcoming Pleasanton race meet. According to a press release, the committee has been informally in place since the announcement of the closure of Golden Gate Fields. The group will work with representatives in the industry to "address challenges and opportunities in real time and ensure that future CARF decisions have the collective support of the industry stakeholders." "Our Advisory Committee has the experience...

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CHRB Unanimously Approves Plan to Make Pleasanton New Center of NorCal Circuit

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted 6-0 on Thursday to approve a dates package for the back half of 2024 that will establish the current fairs-meet-only track at Pleasanton as the new crux of a Northern California circuit. The entire state has been trying to come to grips with the looming June 9 closure of Golden Gate Fields, the lone commercial track in the region, and the Mar. 21 vote by the CHRB was viewed as a NorCal racing lifeline by the estimated 250 supporters in attendance. Those very...

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CARF Issues Statement After 1/ST Ultimatum on NorCal Racing Dates

Ahead of a critical California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting Thursday to decide essentially whether or not to give Northern California stakeholders a fighting chance to build a circuit in the void left by the imminent closure of Golden Gate Fields, 1/ST Racing and Gaming set out their stall Tuesday in a letter to the regulator urging them to decline race dates to the North. In a proposal to the state regulator, the California Association of Racing Fairs (CARF) outlined a 10-week meeting this year that would run from Oct....

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1/ST Racing Says It May Sell Or Close Santa Anita

1/ST Racing, the owners of Santa Anita, have threatened to close or sell the "Great Race Place," making the threats on the eve of a critical meeting of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) in which the future of racing in the northern half of the state will be decided. Santa Anita has been calling for racing to shut down in the North, which, it believes, will help strengthen racing at Santa Anita and the other Southern California tracks. The story was first reported by John Cherwa in the Los...

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Politically Powerful Law Firm Hired To Issue NorCal PRA Requests

At a make-or-break time for Northern California racing interests as they attempt to build a racing circuit in the void left by Golden Gate Fields's imminent closure, two key players in those efforts have been on the receiving end of public records requests from Benbrook Law Group, a law firm well-known for their involvement in high-profile political campaigns, including the failed effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Some Northern California stakeholders said they suspected political intimidation was the motive for the request when the balance of the industry's economic power...

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Computer Assisted Wagering: 101 for California Stakeholders

Last June, Pat Cummings, executive director of the National Thoroughbred Alliance and former executive director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, issued a stark warning about the encroaching impacts from Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) to the men and women trying to forge a living through horse racing in the Golden State. CAW players constitute a small group of mostly anonymous, high-volume gamblers with an outsized impact on the betting markets--including in California--due to their use of sophisticated wagering technologies and the inducements offered to them in the form of attractive rates...

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1/ST Racing Unveils Marquee Event For Santa Anita

During an interview on Saturday's NBC broadcast of the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational, 1/ST CEO Belinda Stronach announced that Santa Anita Park will play host to the "California Crown" Sept. 28, which she said will have some of the same elements as Gulfstream's Pegasus World Cup Day. The Pegasus has become a huge event for 1/ST, who owns both racetracks. "We have an amazing relationship with the folks here in Miami, but we're going to move it out West," Stronach said. "Not the Pegasus, but a new race called...

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Moger, LaRoche, and Taboada Resign from TOC

Three directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) have resigned from their positions in protest of the board's co-signature on a proposal to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) that would concretize racing operations in South California at the expense, they say, of a potential viable racing circuit in the North. The former directors also claim the proposal was submitted without their prior knowledge. "On January 5th a letter from the TOC and the Southern California racetrack operators was sent to the CHRB requesting the allocation of race dates...

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The Week in Review: In 2024, the Sport Needs to Do Better

The remaining days in 2023 dwindled to a few last week, a welcome development considering the year that it was. Yes, there was some good news. Arcangelo (Arrogate) winning the GI Belmont S. for trainer Jena Antonucci was as good a story as we've seen in some time. The saga of Cody's Wish (Curlin) continued to tug at our heartstrings. The sales continue to post huge numbers. Purses have soared in Kentucky and at Oaklawn, with maidens running for pots in excess of $100,000. But for every good story there...

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What Does Next Year Hold For California Racing?

Nearly seventy years ago, Sports Illustrated turf writer, Jim Murray, penned a love-letter to Santa Anita, and its opening day sonata of sun and sport unmatched by any East Coast oval stunned into icy retreat by the "fierce howlings of blue northers spun across finish lines." Santa Anita, Murray wrote, was an "extravagance of beauty." It was also a well-oiled money-spinner. Huge purses lured the best horses to Los Angeles, and the best horses lured the biggest crowds, their pockets brimming with the spoils of a post-war industrial boom transforming...

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Berkeley City Council Ordinance Could Close Golden Gate Early

Berkeley City Council could vote on an ordinance that, if passed, would essentially lead to the premature closure of Golden Gate Fields and throw into question the near-term future of the Northern California horse colony, workforce and training colony, the latter already buffeted by 25% cuts to the track's purses. The Bay Area racetrack is scheduled to race from Dec. 26 through June 9, 2024, after which the facility is set to close permanently. The proposed ordinance--which makes the claim that confining a horse to its stall for the majority...

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CHRB Vice-Chair: 1/ST Racing 'Doing Things That Are Detrimental to California Racing'

Although the recently reported purse cuts for the upcoming meets at Golden Gate Fields (25%) and Santa Anita Park (5%) were not on Thursday's official agenda for the monthly California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting, the commission's vice-chairman, Oscar Gonzales, made it clear that the owner of both tracks, 1/ST Racing and Gaming, was going to face some tough questioning on the topic when the CHRB next convenes in January. TDN's Dan Ross had reported Dec. 9 that Golden Gate is overpaid to the horsemen's account by some $3.1 million...

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