A Lot of Movin and Shakin

December 13, 2019

We all know Joe Talamo is booked for Oaklawn, and Kent Desormeaux is at the Fair Grounds. Bob Baffert and Peter Miller are sending strings to Oaklawn as well. Bob Hess has horses at Gulfstream. Now Doug O’Neill has said he will have horses at Oaklawn and also at Dubai for the Carnival of Racing. Obviously the fate of racing in California is a concern of horsemen. On the heels of this the CHRB has implemented some new rules regarding the use of the riding crop. Noteworthy, the new rules did not follow the recommendations of John Velazquez, Mike Smith, or Gary Stevens, all Hall of Famers.

The new rule reads as follows:

” Jockeys will be able to use the whip twice in succession and no more than 6 times during a race, always in an underhanded position, “at or below” the shoulder of the jockey, and while riders have both hands on reins or touching the neck of the horse.”

No use of the whip is permitted when a horse is “out of the race” or has achieved its maximum placing.” More subjectivity anyone?

Two things jump out here;

1- What about the rule requiring riders to make every effort to win?

2- How does one use the crop with both hands on the reins or neck? I imagine a flicking or snapping the crop is all that will be allowed if that.

Aqueduct is closing for stabling and training. Horses will race and train out of Belmont or elsewhere. This fuels the rumors of the Big A’s coming demise. If it happens that would be another major venue to go the way of Hollywood Park, Calder, Suffolk, and others.

Kiaran McLaughlin is making his annual pilgrimage to Florida for the winter. Something is different this time. He might not be coming back to New York where he has based since 1986. He would be a devastating loss to the New York circuit. McLaughlin was fined over $300,000.00 by the New York Department of Labor following an investigation by that agency and the US Department of Labor. This is similar to what happened with Chad Brown. Linda Rice, Leo O’Brien, Jimmy Jerkens, and Doodnauth Shivmangal amongst others have been investigated by these same two agencies. The investigations, and the high cost of doing business in New York along with the difficulties and challenges in compliance is driving Kiaran to look long and hard at relocating. He is likely not the only one.

Linda Rice was scheduled to learn her fate in New York today. She is scheduled for a hearing with the New York Gaming Commission regarding her allegedly paying NYRA employees for information on who is entering what horses in what races including past performances. The Commission stated a suspension or revocation of her license was likely. The hearing has been postponed.

Like they do every year a lot was discussed at the Global Symposium on Racing in Arizona. Like every year not much will probably come from any of it.

Congratulations to jockey Joe Talamo on his 2000th winner.

Churchill Downs has their signal and wagering blacked out in Nevada. The simulcast contract expired and to date negotiations have failed.

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