CTT board holds emergency meeting

Reports have surfaced today that an unidentified horseman has threatened to sue the California Thoroughbred Trainers if the group follows through on a vote taken Friday morning at Santa Anita that called for new elections to fill its nine-member board.

An emergency meeting of the CTT board was called for this morning at 10 a.m. to discuss the matter.

At the root of all this is a newly formed group of trainers, calling themselves California Horsemen for Change, who have reached a boiling point and want to see major changes in the sport in California.

“I think that’s the feeling that is pretty much amongst the majority of the trainers in Southern California,” trainer John Shirreffs said. “They’re looking for some sort of a change, and I think they felt that the (CTT) board was not transparent or responsive to their requests.”

Preparing to seek decertification of the CTT, the CHC met with the trainers’ group Friday afternoon in an attempt to resolve their differences. Members of the new CHC include Shirreffs, Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, John Sadler, Mike Mitchell, Clifford Sise, Bruce Headley and Darrell Vienna, among others.

In a statement released this morning, the CHC announced it met for an hour with the CTT board to discuss issues that concern the new group. Presumably high on that list of concerns are:

(1) The synthetic race tracks
(2) How the Advance Deposit Wagering funds are split up
(3) Shrinking purse sizes
(4) Overall communication between the CTT board and members of the CTT

According to the release, the CTT board voted 5-4 Friday to hold new elections.

7 thoughts on “CTT board holds emergency meeting

  1. Governor Arnold should review the whole California horse racing scene and make changes to put us back on a winning business plan.
    He could start by allowing the customer some input and consideration.

  2. Andrew, I have thought that from time to time as well. The trainers sure do get the shaft most of the time but what about us freaking players? We are the ones that make the game possible but we have zero say and zero representation!

  3. ING

    I make a lot of noise along with some friends. Just ask Art about my constant emails. I am also a member of HANA. They have some good ideas and have only been around about a year. I try to push them in some areas but they don’t seem to get certain things that are important and it is frustrating to me. John Pricci being named to their board recently will help.

    Going back to dirt at the Santa Anita meet will be a great first step!

  4. Also, what is this junk. There is no promotion for horse racing.A game better than awful slot machines. Promote the game and if you have to put in slots to bring in the newcomers. Be it.I’m sick of The Indian groups pushing this self-reliance crap on all of us. Self-reliance ?, stealing money from gamblers and if a gambler gets good you kick him out of the casino? At least at horseplaying, if you get good,you’re always welcome.Address this Indian monopoly.Our great game is suffering from this crap Indian Lobby. It isn’t our fault what was done to The Indians in the past. And why should they act the same way by encouraging a monopoly on this venture.Also Hollywood Park should be addressed.How can the state sit back and let this legendary landmark get torn down.What the hell is wrong?

  5. This sport is so frustrating its amazing. If you go to the CTT site and just read, I laugh. Its a great organization for the people that work the backside. They do a great job with those programs. Most notably, the 98 year old member of the board Noble Threewitt and all he has been part of with providing for the backstretch worker and their families (even the illegal ones). I beleive the medical offices are named after him too. He is an amazing man and I give him kudos for being involved at the advanced age of 98 but…….. Yes, I know what Noble has done in the sport. Ive been in his stable office and saw the photo on his wall displaying his 9 straight wins at Tanforan. I also note, he actually saw Phar Lap run. I know the history.

    The CTT represents trainers before the CHRB. Really? The CHRB is a joke. What has the CTT done in regards to the CHRB? You have Kool Aid drinkers Cassidy, Harty, Hendricks, and Zucker who are all pro synthetics leading the charge for the trainers against the CHRB? Read up on Ed Halperns quarterly newsletters, I laughed all the way through them all. This is my favorite part of all of them:

    “For hundreds of years, the changes in the horse racing industry have always been few and far between.
    Over the past decade or so that has all changed. The snails pace of evolution has turned into a virtual
    sprint. First, off-track wagering, followed by Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW), then a revolution in
    penalty guidelines, and soon comes a ban on steroids.”

    Yeah, I could think of dozens of words to describe changes in the horse racing industry but “virtual sprint” not so much. A “REVOLUTION” in penalty guidelines???? Really? Who is he preaching too? Not fooled and I dont drink the Kool Aid.

    Almost all of the people on the CTT board are human interest people. They are there for the backstretch workers, workmans comp, etc etc. Read the profiles on these people. Here are some of my favorite quotes directly from their profiles:

    “Not looking for a quick fix.” No kidding, nothing is quick in the racing game and nothing gets fixed.

    “Keep things in line.” Really? WHat is kept in line? What has ever been kept in line? Super trainers? Drugs? Crooked vets? Trainers sending out crippled vets lists horses to break down in consequent workouts?

    “vowed in 1970 to have nothing to do with race track politics.” AND THIS IS WHO IS ON THE CTT BOARD? WOW!

    I know almost all of the people on this board (I did have to look up Gloria Haley sorry), and they are all good well intentioned people but they are not the answer. Im not sure Baffert, Shirreffs, Sadler/Oneill (Please dont get me started with Jeff Mullins Jr and JM III), et al are the answer either. Yes they may push some weight around to get dirt back, but after that? Where do they go? Yes there has to be 3 So Cal, 3 No Cal reps but what can they possibly do?

    The CTT is also responsible for racing dates. Im sure they and the CHRB can handle that. Give or take a day here or there, its always been the same year round. They will definately be stuck in a corner wondering what to do once Hollywood goes away. Youd think theyd have a sound plan in place now rather than face the “Uh Oh, didnt see this coming” face when it happens. I really liked Pegram and Doc Alred’s initiative in their plans for Los Al to step up. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact they pledged THEIR money to make it happen. What has the CTT/CHRB done? Well, Ed Halpern has taken shots at the Bay Meadows Land Management Company but not much more than that.

    Track Safety? Really? Hope they had their eyes closed during Del Mar.

    Condition book and field size. They are doing amazing jobs. I love 5 and 6 horse fields of bottom level horses day after day. Todays opening race, a grassy mile for horses that have started for a tag of $12,500 or less??? HAHAHAHAHA. Am I in So Cal or No Cal? Wow!

    Stable area conditions. AMEN! At least they can get brownie points for something! As far as they have come, there are still miles to go. Have you slept in one of the 6×6 cell block rooms? Ever visited the showers, toilets, etc? If you havent, youre lucky. Yes, I worked on the backstretch for years and lived in the cold cement cells of Santa Anita. Try it for a week, it would be a great piece for your newspaper.

    Backstretch security. At least they patched the escape hole facing the Santa Anita mall! Now its only easy to access the backside, not ridiculously pathetic like before. I cant count how many times Ive been on the backside at times when I wasnt licensed. Count back to the early 90′s and I gaurantee its well over 500 times. At least this years Kentucky Derby winner had a security camera fixed on his stall while in Ca. Maybe they should mic and strap a camera to the heads of guys like Mullins, Oneill, Mitchell, Sadler. That would be a good reality show. That would blow the fake “Jockeys” show off the map. Maybe a spinoff where you mic and strap cams to the super chemist vets that know how to skirt the regulations? Oh to see those people at work! He with the best vet wins!

    Promotes Horse Racing to the General Public????? What what what? Seriously, it states this on the CTT website under what the CTT does. No really, go look, they have that on there.

    Support scientific research. Support and do something with are two completely different things.

    Ahhhh, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Before your readers think Im an idiot that likes to mouth off, I offer you this. I went from a $3,500 a year bettor to $57,000 a year gambler. Just last year, I put almost $120,000 worth of bets through my TVG account. I worked at the racetrack from the time I was 16 until I was 24. I LOVED the game, the horses, the people. This year, Ive really put racing on the backburner because of the way it is done. This year in the 10 months weve been through, Ive wagered $20,400. Here is my year end statement of wagers in dollars from my TVG account:

    2008 $119,146.30

    2007 $57,110.90

    2006 $8,613.60

    2005 $2,696.00

    2004 $7,850.00

    2003 $3,545.00

    I have been to 2 days of the last Santa Anita meet, no days at Hollywood in their last regular summer meet or the last Turf Festival meet. I didnt attend a single day at Del Mar nor did I attend the fair this year. SA has reopened for Oak Tree and I havent caught a day of live racing out there in person either. Its a shame what has happened to people like me.

  6. Jerry E,
    Thanks for opening your heart. Horse racing in Ca. is bankrupt with poor self serving management at all levels.
    Reorgization is in order from top to bottom and the only person who has the power to see that done is Governor Arnold. Arnold seems to have other priorities and we understand that. It is a shame because the people love horse racing and we are watching it shrink away.
    John Hay Whitney said years ago when “Sportsmen” lose control to special interests we are in trouble.He was right.

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