CHRB Committee To Consider Penalties For Trainers of Fatally Injured Horses

The California Horse Racing Board conducted a meeting by teleconference on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The public participated by dialing into the teleconference and/or listening through the audio webcast link on the CHRB website. Chairman Gregory Ferraro chaired the meeting, joined by vice chair Oscar Gonzales and commissioners Dennis Alfieri, Damascus Castellanos, Brenda Washington Davis, Wendy Mitchell, and Alex Solis.

The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website ( under the Webcast link. In brief:

  • The Board conditionally approved the license application for the Los Angeles Turf Club (II) to conduct a race meet at Santa Anita Park with racing programs beginning Oct. 1 and concluding Oct. 31. If Santa Anita does not finalize an agreement with the California Thoroughbred Trainers before then, this application will be reconsidered at the Sept. 15 meeting of the Board.
  • The Board approved the license application for a meeting of the Los Angeles County Fair at Los Alamitos Race Course with racing programs beginning Sept. 10 and concluding Sept. 26.
  • In conjunction with those meets at Santa Anita and Los Alamitos, the Board approved separate agreements between those two tracks and the Thoroughbred Owners of California authorizing those racing secretaries to establish conditions on races limiting the administrations of certain medications and certain procedures.
  • The Board authorized TVG to amend its advance deposit wagering application, so that TVG can process wagers placed in proposed handicapping contests at Del Mar this summer and fall. Those contests are the Del Mar Pacific Coast Betting Challenge, to be offered this Saturday on Pacific Classic Day, the Del Mar Handicapping Contest on Sept. 4, both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge and the Mini-BCBC on Nov. 5 and 6, and the Del Mar Handicapping Contest on Nov. 27.


  • The Board received a report from its Race Dates Committee, which convened  telephonically on Aug. 17 to consider the allocation of 2022 race dates. Vice chair Gonzales said he and commissioner Mitchell did not vote on any measures but noted that the groundwork was laid for a 2022 calendar that could essentially mirror recent calendars but might also include mandatory breaks in the racing schedules. The Board will consider approving a 2022 calendar at a future meeting.
  • Executive director Scott Chaney reported that “next month the Medication, Safety and Welfare Committee will begin the process of contemplating a regulation that would seek to penalize trainers for fatalities of horses in their care.  “The regulation will seek to both recognize that there are some fatalities that are outside the control of trainers and would occur in any live animal population such as those due to some accidents and sickness, but also acknowledge that trainers are in the best position to prevent catastrophic musculo-skeletal failures,” he explained.  “We will begin this process at the committee level because, as far as I know, this would be the first rule of its kind (anywhere in North America) and because we expect and anticipate a fair amount of discussion and input from all horse racing constituencies.”
  • The Board authorized the Los Alamitos Equine Sale Company to conduct a sale of yearlings and mixed stock on Oct. 2 and 3 at Los Alamitos.
  • The Board approved the nominations of six individuals to serve on the board of directors of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation. Commissioner Castellanos recused himself from this discussion and vote because he is one of the directors.
  • The Board approved a request by the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center for California to provide 15,000 blood samples from horses for one year to help understand the messenger RNA (mRNA) response to exercise and injury in horses. The goal is to determine whether mRNA can identify horses at risk for catastrophic injury. The samples will be collected in conjunction with blood already being drawn for other testing, posing no additional discomfort for the horse.
  • The Board gave final approval to a regulatory amendment prohibiting the use of corticosteroid injections to fetlock joints within 30 days of a race and within 10 days of a timed workout.
  • The Board approved a regulatory amendment clarifying the usage of furosemide for certain races.
  • The Board authorized to distribute $4,000 in race day charity proceeds to five beneficiaries.
  • Public comments made during the meeting can be accessed through the meeting audio archive on the CHRB website.

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