The Stronach Group

With No Main Track Musculoskeletal Racing Fatalities in '22, Santa Anita Continues to Make Strides on Safety

It's been some four years since Santa Anita suffered through some of the worst times in its long and otherwise glorious history, a prolonged period where horses were breaking down and dying at an alarming rate. Aidan Butler, the chief executive officer at The Stronach Group 1/ST Racing and Gaming, the corporation that owns Santa Anita, is still haunted by that period, so much so that he says he has nightmares about horses breaking down. "It was horrific," Butler said. "Can you imagine having bloody helicopters from the news stations...

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Hollendorfer Writs Denied in CHRB Case

The Superior Court of San Diego judge hearing the case between trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has denied both writs of mandate filed by the trainer. The two writs constituted a twisty legal knot essentially surrounding which entity--the tracks or the agency regulating California's racing industry--had the ultimate jurisdiction to bar the trainer from licensed premises in the state, a hearing for which was held on Oct. 8. According to Hollendorfer's attorney, Drew Couto, both decisions are appealable, "and those decisions are under consideration." The...

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1/ST Racing & Gaming Unveiled

The Stronach Group's Belinda Stronach introduced 1/ST RACING & GAMING, an enhanced division of the company designed to position the core Thoroughbred horse racing business to fully capitalize on the future of sports wagering and gaming. According to a Wednesday evening press release from the company, the 1/ST RACING & GAMING division will continue to oversee racing operations at 1/ST tracks and training centers while working to expand the company's gaming footprint in collaboration with 1/ST TECHNOLOGY led by the divisions' Chief Executive Officer, Paul Williams. "The shifting landscape of...

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Multiple Moving Parts in Monarch, AZ Simulcasting Morass

For over two years, the simulcasting signal from 1/ST-operated racetracks, along with several others around the country, has been missing in Arizona--the residual fall-out from a long-simmering dispute between the owners of Arizona Downs and the arm of The Stronach Group (TSG) tasked with distributing the company's signal. In both California and Arizona, stakeholders argue that this simulcasting blackout has hit both the bettors and the industry--by how much appears open to debate. A recent analysis by the Arizona Horseman's Benevolent & Protective Association (AZHBPA) of the projected lost revenue...

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Hollendorfer, Stronach Group Reach Legal Settlement

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and The Stronach Group (TSG)-controlled subsidiary owners of Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields have reached a settlement in the legal disputes that have been ongoing since 2019, according to notice of settlement court filings dated Wednesday. The details of the settlement were not disclosed in the notices, however. It's currently unknown, therefore, if the terms include any remuneration, for example. It's similarly unknown if the settlement terms open the door to the possibility of Hollendorfer once again training and racing at TSG-owned facilities. TDN reached out...

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Hollendorfer Loses First Phase of Trial Against Santa Anita

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has lost the first phase of his legal tussle against the Los Angeles Turf Club and The Stronach Group (TSG) controlled subsidiary owners of Santa Anita Park, according to a ruling filed Apr. 29 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court of California. The bifurcated non-jury trial, conducted between Apr. 4 and Apr. 6 this year, focused on a single declaratory relief cause of action, encompassing the proper legal interpretation of the race-meet contract between the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and the track. In all, Hollendorfer has...

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1/ST Issues Statement on Baffert Suspension

Officials at 1/ST, the consumer-facing brand of The Stronach Group--parent company of a portfolio of several California racetracks and/or training facilities--have issued a statement in the aftermath of the 90-day suspension handed down to trainer Bob Baffert. The statement, in its entirety, reads: "The California Horse Racing Board announced on Saturday, Apr. 2 that "[trainer Bob Baffert is now suspended pursuant to CHRB Rule 1484]."  California has thus reciprocated the suspension against Bob Baffert imposed by the Kentucky Racing Commission, which will begin on Apr. 4, 2022. Because of the...

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CHRB Meeting: HISA, Accident Taskforce, Betting Option Menu

Newly minted California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) member, Thomas Hudnot--an education consultant and a former racehorse owner--enjoyed a relatively smooth landing on his first public day on the job, with few of the highly combustible topics on the monthly commission meeting agenda that have lit the touch paper during any number of board meetings these past few years. The meeting, however, did signal a potential brewing storm in the shape of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act's scheduled implementation of its racetrack safety rules July 1. CHRB executive director, Scott...

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Suspension Is Up, But Parx Won't Let Sanchez Ride

Mychel Sanchez's 60-day suspension for betting against himself is about to end, but that doesn't mean the jockey will be back in action any time soon. After being suspended for 60 days by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, Sanchez is eligible to ride Tuesday, but Parx management did not allow trainers to name him on horses on Wednesday when entries were taken for next Tuesday's card. "We tried to name him on horses for Tuesday after his suspension ends and they would not accept anyone naming him on a horse," said...

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Race Meet Agreement at Center of Hollendorfer, TSG April Trial

A trial on the long-gestating legal battle between trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and The Stronach Group (TSG), along with its subsidiary owners of Santa Anita Park, is scheduled for Apr. 4 in the County of Los Angeles Superior Court of California. The bifurcated non-jury trial, however, is focused on a single declaratory relief cause of action against TSG, encompassing the proper legal interpretation of the race-meet contract between the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) and Santa Anita, and excludes some of Hollendorfer's broader causes of action. That second part of this bifurcated...

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MD Horsemen Press For Swift Return Amid Track Woes

Laurel Park, which hasn't hosted racing since Jan. 2 and was closed for 18 days in late autumn over safety and weather-related woes that have plagued its new multi-million-dollar dirt surface, is now scheduled to next card racing for Sunday, Jan. 16--but only if Mother Nature cooperates. The Maryland racing community and Laurel executives traded updates and opinions on the controversial, work-in-progress track restoration project Tuesday afternoon in a 30-minute videoconference. But when Mike Rogers, the president of the racing division for The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns Laurel's corporate...

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After Fatality-Free Month, Snow Poses First Challenge to New Laurel Surface

The work-in-progress new dirt racing surface at Laurel Park has made it through 10 racing dates and nearly a month of training without a catastrophic injury after being closed for 11 days in late autumn after eight equine fatalities. But a Monday snowstorm followed by a sharp drop in overnight temperature provided the first 2022 challenge to a track that has historically been prone to problems during winter weather. Training was cancelled at Laurel Monday and Tuesday but will reopen Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. without timed workouts being permitted as...

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