TOC

Rubinstein to Receive TOC Award

Josh Rubinstein has been selected by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) as recipient of the 2021 Ed Friendly Industry Service Award. The award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions and service in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Originally known as the TOC Chairman's Award, it was renamed for the television producer, Thoroughbred owner and TOC founding member following his death in 2007. Among former awardees are some of the most prominent names in Southern California racing, including Mace Siegel, John Harris, Bob and Beverly Lewis, Jerry and Ann Moss,...

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HKJC Executive, New TOC President Bill Nader Joins Writers' Room

As a well-respected industry veteran of several decades coming off an immensely successful run as an executive with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Bill Nader could likely write his own ticket for most jobs in the industry. It was recently announced that after 15 years in Hong Kong, Nader would be coming home to America and become the new president and CEO of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. Tuesday, Nader joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to talk about why...

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Bill Nader Named Next TOC President, CEO

Bill Nader has agreed to join the Thoroughbred Owners of California as President and Chief Executive Officer, the organization announced today. Nader's appointment will take effect in October of this year. He succeeds Greg Avioli who resigned earlier this year. Nader, 64, joins the TOC from the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), where he has held senior executive positions since 2007. Prior to that, Nader was the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the New York Racing Association, where he was employed from 1994-2007. "Given his experience both...

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Santa Anita Field Size: 5 Years of Numbers

The flag has already been planted midway through Santa Anita's current Winter-Spring meet, and prevailing headwinds are still driven by worries over field size. The following table is an analysis of the average field sizes during the first 15 weeks of the Santa Anita Winter meet--a timeframe excluding Santa Anita Derby weekend--over the past five years. In tandem with the above numbers, total handle for the meet thus far--including last weekend--decreased by 1% between last year and this, a number that comes out to nearly $8 million. That's with one...

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TOC President Greg Avioli Resigns

Greg Avioli resigned his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Thoroughbred Owners of California, effective Apr. 1. According to a TOC release Friday, he will pursue other interests and ventures. Avioli joined the Toc in 2016. "TOC appreciates the contributions he has made to the organization and to the California Thoroughbred community as a whole and wishes him well in his future endeavors," read a TOC statement Friday. "TOC is focused on the continued success of the organization and has already begun the search for a new President...

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TOC Elects Two New Board Members, Reelects Three More

Members of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) have elected Southern California-based trainer Ryan Hanson and Northern California-based owner/breeder Lindsay LaRoche of Highland Yard to its Board of Directors. Incumbents Ed Moger, Stephanie Hronis and Rick Gold were also reelected. All five will serve three-year terms, effective July 1. A total of 6,003 ballots were mailed to eligible voters, and 1,579 qualifying ballots were received. The complete vote tally is available for viewing on TOC's website at www.toconline.com. The newly elected directors join Nick Alexander, Joe Ciaglia, Gary Fenton, Mike...

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New COVID Protocols Outlined at Santa Anita, Golden Gate

Based on increasing vaccine availability and declining COVID-19 numbers, The Stronach Group and TOC outlined new protocols at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields to allow licensed owners more access to the grounds. SANTA ANITA PARK Mandatory Santa Anita protocols, including social distancing (a minimum of six feet), face cloths covering your nose and mouth, health screening, temperature check and wrist banding will continue to be enforced for everyone entering Santa Anita, including the Stable Area. Winner's Circle After each race, the winning horse will be brought into the...

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Churchill vs. TOC Lawsuit Withdrawn; Neither Side Wants to Say Why
Churchill vs. TOC Lawsuit Withdrawn; Neither Side Wants to Say Why

After alleging last month that a disagreement over advance-deposit wagering (ADW) hub rate fees was so egregious that it amounted to a "shakedown" that needed to be fought in federal court, a subsidiary of the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc., dropped its lawsuit against Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) Mar. 8. According to a "notice of voluntary dismissal" filed Monday in United States District Court (Central District, California, Western Division) by Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Company (CDTIC), an agreement between the parties was reached Mar. 5 that apparently settles the...

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Fenton Elected Chairman of TOC Board

The TOC Board unanimously elected Gary Fenton to serve as the new Chairman of the organization replacing outgoing Chairman Nick Alexander, who stepped down after five years in the role. Fenton has been on the TOC Board since 2016 and has served as Chairman of the TOC Racing Committee since 2018 and TOC Vice-Chairman since 2019. Fenton is the managing partner of Little Red Feather Racing (LRF), California's largest syndicate. He began his career as an entertainment attorney working for the William Morris Agency and media companies including ATG, Carsey-Werner,...

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Owners' Per-Start Fee to Increase by 10% Jan. 1

Stemming from the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the reduction of live racing, and California's statewide increases in workers compensation costs, Post Time Self Insurance will institute a 10% increase, paid by both owners and trainers, to offset the shortages of the horse industry's workers compensation program covering jockeys and backstretch workers. Owners and trainers fund the majority of program costs via per-stall charges from trainers and race per-start fees from owners. The owners' per-start fee will be raised from $149 to $162, effective Jan. 1, 2021....

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What Can We All Do Together? Avioli on California Handle, Purses
What Can We All Do Together? Avioli on California Handle, Purses

Recently, TDN published a data set illustrating how the racing industry in California has undergone a dramatic shapeshift, both before and during the pandemic. New betting patterns have constituted a quarter-billion-dollar boon for the advance deposit wagering (ADW) industry at the expense of the California horsemen's purses. In a nutshell, as compared to a comparable period in 2018, the number of races this year has declined 30%. Although the overall handle has declined 18.8%, purses have dropped more than 26%. To discuss these findings, we spoke with Thoroughbred Owners of...

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Owners Allowed to Return to Alameda County Fairgrounds

The Thoroughbred Owners of California announced that horse owners will be allowed on grounds for racing at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, beginning immediately. Owners must follow these guidelines on the grounds: Owners will be permitted one guest per owner. Owners will be permitted to watch only the race their horse is entered in. Owners must abide by the safety protocols of the Alameda County Fair (including wearing a face mask and social distancing). Owners will be restricted to access only the apron and paddock areas. The Alameda County Health Department...

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