04/06/2011 3:52PM

Representatives of rival California horsemen's groups to meet


Representatives of the newly formed California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Thoroughbred Owners of California are scheduled to meet at Santa Anita this weekend to discuss the CTHA’s request that the composition of the TOC’s board be changed to accommodate more owner-trainers, according to CTHA founding member Roger Licht.

The CTHA, formed in late March, is seeking a greater presence for owners-trainers on the TOC board than the current setup of 12 owners and three trainers. Failing that, the CTHA said it would seek to decertify the TOC and become the state’s official representative for Thoroughbred horsemen. The process would take months and involve an election conducted by the California Horse Racing Board.

Licht said a meeting between representatives of the CTHA and TOC will be held at Santa Anita this weekend. Licht said that the CTHA is hopeful that the TOC will conduct “an open election” that would result in the board of directors comprising half owners and half owner-trainers.

In the last 10 days, the two groups have traded accusatory press releases. The CTHA issued a nine-point statement in late March saying the TOC had failed to adequately represent horsemen on issues ranging from negotiations with Native American tribes, neglecting Northern California racing, and failing to respond to a recent outcry from bettors regarding higher takeouts for exotic wagers. The TOC responded to each of the nine issues on Tuesday, refuting those claims.