Archive for CHRB

Does This Signal The End of Plastic Tracks?

This week’s LET IT RIDE.COM HOT TOPIC comes from Tracy Gantz of…take a read and VOICE AN OPINION!


ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA — Removal of Santa Anita’s synthetic surface began Oct. 11 as the first step in replacing it with a dirt surface. Track officials are close to deciding the mix of materials to be used as the surface material, with input from horsemen.

Plans call for installation of the dirt surface to be completed by about Dec. 1, said project manager Ted Malloy. Horses are expected to be allowed to begin training Dec. 5 for the Santa Anita winter meeting, which opens Dec. 26.

Malloy said the removal of the synthetic surface will take two to three weeks. Track management and horsemen are investigating several different dirt mixes to come up with the best and safest surface. Several plots of material are undergoing testing in the area just west of Santa Anita’s main oval.

Malloy and George Haines, Santa Anita’s president, said that the dirt surface will be made up of a sand component, clay and silt, and pond fines. The testing is examining several different mixes of these three materials.

Once Santa Anita management determines the best mix, it will undergo further testing under the direction of the California Horse Racing Board, Haines said. The University of California at Davis will test it, as will Dr. Mick Peterson from the University of Maine. Peterson is the executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.

“We want to make sure we have the right parameters for the soil,” said Haines.

The CHRB still must approve a waiver for Santa Anita to return to a dirt surface. Originally, the CHRB mandated that all major California Thoroughbred tracks convert to a synthetic surface.

Santa Anita has undergone two renovations of its initial Cushion Track surface, installed in 2007. The track has not drained properly, leading to the loss of several days of racing. Santa Anita owner Frank Stronach in August announced he would replace the synthetic surface with dirt in time for the 2010-11 winter meeting.


California Increases Takeouts…Is Raising Taxes in a Down Economy Anyway to Treat a Punter?

This week’s Let It HOT TOPIC comes from Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form…take a read and VOICE AN OPINION!


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Thursday that will increase the takeout on exotic bets on California races to fund an increase in overnight purses beginning this winter.

The announcement of the governor’s signature was made by Keith Brackpool, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, at Thursday’s meeting of the board. Brackpool said the governor would make a formal statement about the bill Friday.

The legislation was approved on Aug. 31 and sent to Schwarzenegger’s office on Sept. 8.
Last November, while attending races at Hollywood Park, Schwarzenegger indicated that he wanted to sign legislation in 2010 to aid the state’s horse racing industry. Schwarzenegger leaves office at the end of this year.

The takeout increase will take effect on Dec. 26. The bill will raise the takeout on two-horse exotic wagers by 2 percent, from the current 20.68 percent to 22.68 percent, and increase the takeout on bets requiring three or more horses by 3 percent, from 20.68 to 23.68 percent. Takeout rates for win, place, and show betting will remain unchanged at 15.43 percent.

The legislation states that revenue from the higher takeout must go to fund overnight purses. The measure could raise $25 million to $30 million annually, racing officials said during the summer.

The legislation permits the launch of exchange betting in the state in 2012 and has provisions to promote the Breeders’ Cup financially when the event is run in California.