Holiday Wishes

The New Year Brings New Benefits to California’s Trainers and Their Employees.

This edition brings news of two Christmas bonuses for trainers in California. The first is an accident and disability policy that will be provided without cost to trainers who are in the CHSA Workers’ Compensation Program. Trainers who are injured at the workplace are not covered by workers’ compensation because employers are routinely excluded from such coverage. Fortunately, because of the financial success of our program, we are about to announce a policy that will provide accident and disability coverage for trainers. This coverage will be at no cost to participants and will provide up to $500,000 in medical benefits and $200 in weekly wage loss indemnity for up to two years. It is anticipated that additional coverage will be available for a very small premium. We are hoping to announce the rollout of the program by January 1, 2008.

The second bonus is another increase in the amount contributed from each ADW wager to the CTT Backstretch Pension fund. The Plan was originally funded through a transfer of 1% of the purse pool. When the original ADW bill was passed in 2002, that amount was increased by an additional takeout from the ADW wagers. In 2006, that additional contribution equaled approximately $110,000 for the CTT Pension Fund. In the most recent version of ADW legislation, the Jockey Guild and the CTT were able to negotiate an additional .00295 percent of ADW bets that will be shared by the CTT Pension Fund, the CTHF, and the Jockey’s newly created pension fund. It is estimated that this could bring an additional $500,000 or more in revenue to the CTT Pension Fund annually. In summary, the CTT pension fund should now receive total contributions of approximately $2,300,000 per year. This fund, which benefits trainers and backstretch workers, is paid for in its entirety by the racing industry, and we continue to owe a debt of gratitude to all the racing associations and organizations that make this possible and that worked to attain the increased funding.
The message to trainers is, in order to qualify for maximum benefits at retirement, remember to sign up between February 2 and April 15 of each year. Also, encourage your eligible employees to sign up.
 It seems a New Year is not complete without a wish list, so here goes ours:
Lighter exercise riders
Heavier bettors
Old racing facilities that don’t close
New racing facilities that attract more fans
Faster training surfaces
Slower training surfaces
Whatever surfaces Bobby Frankel recommends
More protection for innocent trainers by the long-awaited final passage of the RMTC penalty guidelines that incorporate “mitigating circumstances” into the trainer-insurer rule
Legislators who are sympathetic to the needs of racing
A fair share of Advanced Deposit Wagering for purses
Stalls at the track where you wish to train
A never-ending supply of experienced grooms and hotwalkers
Condition books filled with the races you need at distances you need
A real cure for bowed tendons
A reasonably priced ulcer medication
Barns that don’t leak
Rail trips
More Gregson Foundation Scholarship applicants from Northern California
Increased California Thoroughbred Trainers Backstretch Pension Plan benefits
More television announcers like TVG’s Frank Lyons
AND a happy, healthy, and prosperous Holiday Season and New Year for all.

Tom Tate - we profile the Yorkshire trainer

Flunixin and Clenbuterol - changes in the CHRB rules