Golden Gate

Following CHRB Race Dates Decision, What's Next For California?

The way California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) chair Greg Ferraro describes it, the now infamous letter in which 1/ST Racing and Gaming appeared to threaten the sale of Santa Anita should the board grant the North its desired 2024 race dates was "a very big mistake" on their part--one that helped sway the board's unanimous decision to side with interests in the Northern half of the state. "It really put a bad taste in the mouths of board members," Ferraro said. Beforehand, Ferraro had anticipated punting a decision on the...

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Endlessly Stamps Preakness Ticket With El Camino Real Derby Win

Endlessly (Oscar Performance) got back in the winner's circle and earned himself a trip to the Triple Crown's middle jewel with a win in Saturday's El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate. Having gone three for three to start his career, including wins in both the GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. and the GIII Zuma Beach S., the son of Oscar Performance tried his hand at the top level but came up empty when eighth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last November. Nominated to the Triple Crown...

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Golden Gate Trainer Ruled Against in Rape Case

Trainer Ari Herbertson lost a civil rape case and will owe the unnamed plaintiff $9 million, according to an email from Diane Rames, law office administrator at the Oakland firm Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer, APC. According to the firm's email, Jane Doe was attending live racing at Golden Gate on Jan. 12, 2019 when she was drugged and raped by Herbertson. The latter was first criminally prosecuted and plead no contest to a lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to one-year incarceration and...

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Vocal Two-Circuit Supporters in Cali Come Out Firing in First of Many Expected North/South Skirmishes

The precarious, up-in-the-air future of California racing and whether or not the state can continue to support two geographic year-round circuits was made no clearer after Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting. The 3 1/2-hour session was dominated by discussion of competing North-versus-South plans that both tried to carve a sustainable path forward while underscoring the dire circumstances that face the industry with the June 9 closure of Golden Gate Fields looming like an unavoidable asteroid. Although the CHRB concluded the meeting--which featured testimony that was at times emotional,...

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California's Purse-Cut Woes Driving Horses To Turf Paradise

Turf Paradise, which only weeks ago seemed either destined to remain dormant and in disrepair or perhaps even ready to face the wrecking ball, appears to be in the midst of orchestrating a remarkable comeback. Track management, horsemen, and regulators all expressed confidence and a renewed sense of optimism during Thursday's Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) meeting that the Phoenix track was on target to hit a Jan. 29 start date for the first commercial-track meet in the state since May. Several stakeholders underscored during the Dec. 14 meeting that a...

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Final Golden Gate Fields Meet Potentially Set For 25% Purse Cut

The overnight purses for Golden Gate Fields' final meet are potentially set for a 25% cut due to a longstanding overpayment of the purse account, according to Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) president and CEO, Bill Nader. 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 purse account, said Nader, is overpaid by some $3.1 million. "There's a pretty big overpayment that's been building," said Nader. "They're looking to claw some of it back,...

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Abel Cedillo To Winter At Turfway Park

Jockey Abel Cedillo will pack up his tack from Del Mar and move east for the winter to Turfway Park for their meeting that starts Nov. 29. He has every intention of returning to the seaside oval next summer, but says the timing just seemed right to try something new. "I just want to go because I've never gone out of California," Cedillo says. "I'm still young so I don't want to wait until I'm too old to make the move. I'll take my chance right now." Cedillo, who has...

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Jockey Frank Alvarado Picks Up 4,000th Career Victory

Veteran jockey Frank Alvarado, a mainstay in Northern California throughout the 21st century, picked up his 4,000th career victory in Race 2 on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields aboard five-year-old mare Shout It Out (Boisterous). 54-year-old Alvarado had to wait out a photo finish before giving an exuberant fist pump when the order of finish was posted. He was greeted in the winner's circle post-race by family, friends, racing officials, and fellow members of the Golden Gate riding colony. Alvarado's mounts have accrued $87.8 million throughout a long and successful...

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'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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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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Letter to the Editor: The Future of the North

Behind the scenes there is a battle taking place for the future of racing in Northern California. Approximately 30 million dollars is at the center of the battle, the projected net revenue from wagering derived in the north. The projection is derived from past revenues generated annually through Thoroughbred simulcast, ADW and live racing wagering in the north. Under current law, these funds must remain in the north, for the benefit of the north--both for horsemen and any race meet that continues to offer Thoroughbred racing in the future. The...

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On TDN Writers' Room Podcast, HISA's Lazarus Admits Mistakes Have Been Made

Because of a number of developments over the last few weeks that can be characterized as missteps, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) Chief Executive Officer Lisa Lazarus has had a chance to reflect on what's gone right and what's gone wrong since the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program went into effect in May. Appearing as this week's Green Group Guest of the Week on the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, Lazarus addressed the problems and made no attempt to sugarcoat them. "If we look at the...

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