CHRB Extends Los Alamitos’ License To Full Year; Gonzalez Pledges Closer Scrutiny Of Horse Safety

Despite Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times report on a pair of equine fatalities at Los Alamitos on Jan. 17, the California Horse Racing Board voted to restore the track’s full-year license during its Thursday meeting.

Back in December, the CHRB had deadlocked 3-3 in a vote to grant Los Alamitos a full year license for Quarter Horse racing, primarily due to concerns about horse safety after 29 fatalities were reported at Los Al from Dec. 27, 2019 through the end of 2020. Vice Chair Oscar Gonzalez recommended granting the track a six-month license, and the measure was eventually approved 5-1.

Los Alamitos’ owner Ed Allred responded to the license ruling by threatening to shut down the track completely, arguing that he couldn’t operate with a six-month license because horsemen need to be able to plan for an entire year.

According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, the CHRB heard over three hours of testimony and public comment before voting on the license. Chairman Gregory Ferraro, the lone nay vote in December, argued during Thursday’s meeting that granting a six-month license was unnecessary since the CHRB can suspend licenses over safety issues at any time, but the final tally was 4-3, restoring Los Alamitos’ year-round license.

Commissioner Alex Solis, absent from December’s meeting, voted for the year-round license, along with Gregory Ferraro, Dennis Alfieri and Damascus Castellanos. Voting against were Gonzalez, Wendy Mitchell, and Brenda Washington Davis.

“This phase of engaging with Los Alamitos is a new one,” Gonzalez told his fellow commissioners. “And I don’t want anyone to think for a minute that the powers that have been vested by the state of California in the CHRB, that [horse safety standards] are going to be compromised in any way. In fact, [enhanced scrutiny] is just a start if we don’t see immediate and quick improvements when it comes to horse safety and the welfare of workers at Los Alamitos.”

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

The post CHRB Extends Los Alamitos’ License To Full Year; Gonzalez Pledges Closer Scrutiny Of Horse Safety appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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