12/18/2014 6:43PM

California Horse Racing Board considering new gelding rule

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CYPRESS, Calif. - At its monthly meeting at Los Alamitos on Thursday, the California Horse Racing Board discussed creating a rule that would result in the scratch of any horse who has been gelded since his last start if that information is not disseminated to the betting public in a timely fashion,

The racing board did not take action on the issue. Any proposed rule must undergo a lengthy process including a period of public comment before taking effect. The rule would require first-time geldings be scratched if they are not designated at entry time, or made known to the public before the start of betting on the morning of a race.

Executive director Rick Baedeker said such information is vital for bettors in an era when multi-race wagers are dominant. He cited a hypothetical example of a bettor buying a sizable pick six ticket only to learn later that a horse running in the day’s final race has been gelded since his last start.

Horses racing as geldings for the first time can sometimes show improvement. Currently, trainers are fined $1,000 in most instances when such horses are not designated as having been gelded since their last start.

“I think this goes to the protection of the bettors,” Baedeker said.

The issue is expected to be discussed at a medication committee meeting in January among owners, trainers and racetrack executives.

*The board approved a request from Los Alamitos to ban the use of the bronchodilator clenbuterol in Quarter Horses in 2015.

There has been a rash of positives for the medication in recent years in Quarter Horse racing. Los Alamitos enacted a house rule earlier this year banning the medication. In 2015, the track plans to implement hair follicle testing of qualifiers for major Quarter Horse races to prevent abuse of clenbuterol.