06/04/2010 12:00AM

First bar in California close to wagering approval


Satellite wagering in California's sports bars may begin in San Clemente later this summer.

Michael Merrigan, the owner of OC Tavern in San Clemente, in Orange County, received a favorable ruling from that city's planning commission on Wednesday, and now needs approval by the San Clemente City Council before his bar can begin to accept wagers. OC Tavern must also gain a satellite wagering license from the California Horse Racing Board before wagering can begin. The racing board could discuss the issue at its monthly meeting at Hollywood Park on June 22.

Satellite betting there could start during the Del Mar meeting, which begins on July 21.

Legislation allowing wagering in sports bars and card clubs passed in 2007, but so far only one card club in Southern California has opened a satellite facility.

Rosario sits out three days

Jockey Joel Rosario, who through Monday was third in the jockey standings at Hollywood, begins a three-day suspension on Sunday.

Rosario was cited for causing interference in the Manhattan Beach Stakes on May 30, when Repo was disqualified from first and placed second for failing to maintain a straight course in the stretch of the six-furlong turf race.

Rosario's suspension continues through Thursday. At the current meeting, he has won 31 races, and trails leader Rafael Bejarano by 11 wins.