Are any of us old enough to remember a time when the training of
Thoroughbreds was about providing enough care and enough exercise to
obtain optimal performance? I suppose such a time existed, but not in
recent memory. Hands on therapy and horsemanship have been replaced by
fast acting and less labor intensive drugs and medications. By way of
example, in the last decade we have seen the elimination of equipment
such as the whirlpool tub.
Edward I. Halpern, CTT Exec - (14 October 2008 - Issue Number: 10)
There was always an air of levity at Bob Baffert's barn when Eoin Harty
worked there. Not that the game they played wasn't serious. It was.
Preparing 1,000-pound equine athletes with spindly legs to perform at
their peak on the world's stage is not a job for anyone in short
pants.During the seven years Harty was Baffert's assistant, they won the
Kentucky Derby twice - with Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in
1998-and missed by a heart-breaking nose with Cavonnier in 1996. But in
between the regimented tedium, there was always time for a good hoot.
Fact is, it was and still is part of Baffert's DNA.
26 June 2008 - Issue Number: 6
The Federal Government has stepped up enforcement and prosecution of
EMPLOYERS who hire undocumented workers. Felony criminal prosecution and
fines are being imposed for employers who cannot show they have taken
the steps required in the hiring process.If as an employer you have a
perspective employee fill out the Form I-9 (U.S. Department of Homeland
Security Employment Eligibility Verification form), and you examine the
required documents, you will not be fined or prosecuted, even if it
turns out that the documents were falsified and the employee turns out
to be an undocumented alien. Of course, if you knew the worker was
undocumented, you can still be fined or jailed. Therefore, it is
strongly recommended that you follow the procedures that are outlined
Edward I. Halpern (14 February 2008 - Issue Number: 7)
The appeal by the "Save Bay Meadows"Committee was heard before the
1stDistrict Court of Appeals on September 19. By all accounts, a
decision is due by the Court before the end of the calendar year of
2007. If successful, the citizens group will push that the Bay Meadows
development be put to a vote by San Mateo residents as to whether they
want the proposed project to move forward. If the appeal is denied, it
basically ends any hope that Bay Meadows will not be developed in the
near future. It seems almost certain that Bay Meadows Land Company would
start their project in the fall of 2008.
Charles E. Dougherty, Jr. CTT Deputy Director (First Published: 01 Dec 2007)
Warren Stute has changed barns. If he can hear me, I know he will smile.
I always took his smiles as more than just smiles. They were messages
of approval. Warren exercised horses for as long as he was able. When he
no longer could do that, he rode his pony until he could no longer do
that. For the last few months, he would walk back and forth to and from
his barn. Near the end, his son, Glen, would almost have to carry him to
the track and back. But Warren wouldn't give up. He was a horse
trainer. Nobody who gives up is a horse trainer. Everyday with every
horse is a new challenge and a new inspiration to keep trying.
Edward I. Halpern, CTT Exec - (01 October 2007 - Issue Number: 5)
As the summer fair racing circuit of 2007 starts to wind down, the
anxiety as to what Northern California's overall racing circuit will
look like starts to grow. By all indications, Bay Meadows will not race
after 2008.While many horsemen held out hope that Bay Meadows would be
spared of their development plans and continue to race, that scenario
looks less likely each day. In fact, the Bay Meadows Land Company (BMLC)
is telling the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) that they would
only like to race until July of 2008. It is very disappointing that BMLC
has taken this position, as they made such an issue of not originally
being granted an exemption for the synthetic surface mandate. The CHRB
granted the waiver, with BMLC now saying they can't race past the summer
months. Go figure! The CTT is very involved in negotiations in trying
to get Bay Meadows to commit to a stabling program through the fall if
they do not race after July of 2008.
Charles E. Dougherty, Jr. CTT Deputy Director (01 October 2007 )
The rules of racing are intended to maintain a level playing field; any
drug testing program is meant to monitor compliance to those rules. In
reality, drug testing is a deterrent. For truly illicit activity where
the intent is to take an unfair advantage (cheat), the current program
in California is working well. But we know it isn't perfect. We are
always looking for holes in the system and ways to improve the program.
Rick M. Arthur, DVM, - (01 July 2007 - Issue Number: 4)
California is racing into the future, or maybe not. As of writing, there
is turmoil and uncertainty as to how racing will develop in the
immediate future. A long-term prognosis is even more uncertain. The
California Legislature has placed a stranglehold on funding for the
California Horse Racing Board.
Edward I. Halpern, CTT Exec - (01 July 2007 - Issue Number: 4)
Twin Palms in Pasadena was jammed with 400 guests on April 23 to honor
Joe and Barbara Harper of Del Mar at the annual Edwin J. Gregson
Foundation benefit hosted by California Thoroughbred Trainers.
About $100,000 was raised for the foundation, which since its inception
seven years ago, has raised close to $1 million specifically for
educational purposes for backstretch workers and their families.
Steve Schuelein (01 July 2007 - Issue Number: 4)
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.
Edward I. Halpern, CTT Exec - ( 01 December 2007 - Issue Number: 6 )
Two important amendments to CHRB rule 1844 became effective on October
20, 2007. The flunixin regulatory threshold was raised to 50ng/ml in
blood form the previous 20ng/ml. This should have little impact in the
day-to-day operation of most stables.
Rick M. Arthur, DVM (01 December 2007 - Issue Number: 6)
Shortly after his 80th birthday a few years ago, trainer Warren Stute
agreed to stop galloping his horses. "I could still do it, but I
promised my family so they would stop worrying," the wiry old-timer
confided begrudgingly to a Hollywood Park publicist in his gruff voice
after being slowed by a minor stroke.
Steve Schuelein(01 October 2007 - Issue Number: 5)