05/24/2005 12:00AM

Cal. board drops beef with Guild

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The California Horse Racing Board has dismissed claims against the Jockeys' Guild that the organization did not properly reimburse some riders for medical bills, the racing board's executive director, Ingrid Fermin, said in a statement released Tuesday.

Documents pertaining to 12 unidentified riders were forwarded to the racing board in April by Ron Warren, a northern California jockey who has formed a rival organization to the guild. In Tuesday's statement, Fermin said that after investigating nine of the claims with the assistance of Barry Broad, a lawyer representing the guild, the racing board could find no evidence that the guild "failed in its responsibility to address any of these claims."

Broad, who had criticized the board's decision to release information about investigation of the claims after receiving the documents from Warren, said Tuesday that he believed the guild was at least partially vindicated by the board statement.

"We were most concerned because we didn't want to be prejudged on the handling of these claims," Broad said. "I think this shows that we are handling the claims appropriately."

The racing board did not examine three of the cases because it could not get approval from the riders to release medical information, which is required under federal and state laws to protect people's privacy.