Thoroughbred Owners of California

Rick Gold To Receive TOC Chairman's Award

Rick Gold is the recipient of the Ed Friendly Industry Service Award, also known as the TOC Chairman's Award, the Thoroughbred Owners of California announced Monday morning. Following eight years of service to the TOC and other industry boards, Gold is retiring this year. He served as the chairman of the TOC's Integrity & Safety Committee and he played a key role in helping to safeguard California and industry interests during the formation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), according to a release. Gold has campaigned the likes...

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Ship And Win Bonus and Maiden Dirt Bonus Return to De Mar in 2024

The Ship & Win Bonus and Maiden Dirt Bonus will return this summer for Del Mar's 85th season of racing. Entering its 14th consecutive season at Del Mar, the Ship & Win program provides an incentive for horses from out of state to race at the seaside oval by providing a guaranteed $4,000 check for any qualified runner in their first start at Del Mar. There is also a 40% bonus applied to purse winnings for that initial start, as well as any subsequent outings during the eight-week meet. As...

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Horse Industry Drives Huge Economic Gains Across California

Edited Press Release As California grapples with a budget deficit in the tens of billions of dollars, the horse industry has grown financially for the state over the last five years; responsible for billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs, according to a report released by the American Horse Council. In 2023, the equine ecosystem provided a total value of $11.6 billion to California's economy and a direct contribution of $6.5 billion to state GDP, according to the report. This marks a significant increase from...

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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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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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Harris, Green and Mathis to Join TOC Board

John C. Harris, Ty Green and Andy Mathis have been appointed to the board of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC). Owner of Harris Farms, Harris was inducted into the California Racing Hall of Fame in 2008 and was honored last year by the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation for his industry service. Harris Farms has been connected to over 50 California divisional champions, including eight California Horses of the Year. He is a former California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Commissioner and currently serves on the board of the California Thoroughbred...

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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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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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Stronach Group Outlines Plans for Southern California

Two weeks after an initial company announcement on the closure of Golden Gate Fields at the end of the year, The Stronach Group (TSG) issued details Friday on their plans for consolidating racing operations at its Southern California racing and training facilities, Santa Anita and San Luis Rey Downs. The plan--shared via Zoom during a press briefing lasting about 30 minutes--appeared large on big-ticket promises though short on specifics in other key areas, including the broader industry impacts from the closure of Golden Gate Fields. The following details were divulged...

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New Board Members for TOC

Gary Barber, Gary Fenton, Terry Lovingier, Tim Cohen, and Matt Dohman have been elected to three-year terms for the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC)'s Board of Directors and will take office July 1. They will join Nick Alexander, Joe Ciaglia, Rick Gold, Ryan Hanson, Stephanie Hronis, Lindsey LaRoche, Bob Liewald, Ed Moger, Samantha Siegel, and Johnny Taboada as TOC's 2023-24 Board. Richard Rosenberg, a former board member of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), has agreed to stay on with the organization as an appointed member of the Integrity &...

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Matthew Dohman Looking to Shake Up 'Old Boys' Club'

Point him at a fork in the road and Matthew Dohman will likely take the one consecrated by Robert Frost. When he founded his mortgage lending company, he did so in the middle of the global financial meltdown when homebuying was as popular as volcano surfing. When he purchased his first horses at the sales, he eschewed sage counsel from agent and trainer and picked 'em largely himself. Didn't do too bad, either. The Cal-bred Guy Code, who he snagged for $63,000, ended up winning nearly a quarter-million. And when...

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TOC to Honor Mike Pegram

Long-time owner and breeder Mike Pegram will receive the Chairman's Award Aug. 12 from the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) at the TOC's Southern California Annual Meeting at Del Mar. Alternately named the Ed Friendly Industry Service Award, the Chairman's Award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions and service in racing. "Mike is an exceptional leader who continues to make a lasting impact on both this organization and California racing," said TOC Chairman Gary Fenton. "His dedication, hard work, and commitment are an inspiration to all of us, and...

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