Larry Swartzlander

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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CHRB Sets '24 NorCal Schedule, but GGF's Closure Remains 'Elephant in the Room'

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Thursday approved a calendar that fleshed out the Northern California racing schedule through mid-September 2024. But the initiative still left race-date gaps late in the year that must be addressed both for next season and the future as stakeholders and regulators attempt to realign the circuit in the wake of news that Golden Gate Fields will not be part of the racing landscape beyond next June. Back on July 16, 1/ST Racing, which owns both Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, announced...

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Proposed Legislation Suggests Extra Six Months Of Racing at Golden Gate

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 racing in the northern half of the state, according to proposed legislation introduced in Sacramento. 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. According to California Authority...

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Ferndale Grandstand Deemed Unsafe For August Meet

The operators of the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale, California, are scrambling for a solution after just finding out this week that an earthquake from six months ago so badly damaged the grandstand at the half-mile racetrack that county officials now won't permit the structure to be occupied for the six-day race meet Aug. 18-20 and 25-27. Larry Swartzlander, who serves as both the executive director California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) and the director of racing for Ferndale, told the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) during Thursday's meeting that...

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'23 Dates for Northern California Edge Closer to Finalization

A 2023 race dates template for the Northern California circuit came closer to being finalized at Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting, with commissioners unanimously voting to largely mirror the framework of the 2022 schedule. The lone exception was that the board held off on a decision on whether Ferndale (Humboldt County Fair) would once again have to run its second of two weeks of racing at the end of August against overlapping competition from the commercial licensee Golden Gate Fields. That part of the vote was parsed out...

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