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The Week in Review: November 14, 2019
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019
by: Valerie Mellema
Here's the latest news in the horse racing world this week!
West Virginia to Establish Medical Review Board
The West Virginia Racing Commission announced November 12, 2019, that it would be establishing a medical review board for the two Thoroughbred racetracks located in the state. While racehorse welfare is under intense scrutiny across the United States, Mountaineer recently had a scandal of its own when a photo of a deceased racehorse in a landfill recently circulated on social media. The incident was investigated, and while legal, it certainly didn't do anything to improve the look of horse racing in the media. The new review board will include an equine medical director, a safety official, track investigator, steward and horsemen's representative. The hope is to have the board in place by January 2020 for the Charles Town Races meet.
Gulfstream's Winter Meet Starts November 29th with New Leadership
While the Gulfstream Park West meet wraps up November 24th, the Gulfstream winter meet will start November 29th. Gulfstream Park announced Wednesday, November 13th that Dave Bailey was hired as racing secretary at the track. He previously held the position from 2000 to 2007. Bailey served as the racing secretary at Hialeah in 1984, Arlington Park in 1997 and at Penn National from 2011 to 2016.
Team Valor Eyes European Prospects
Team Valor was formed in 1992 by Barry Irwin, but was originally launched in 1987 under the name Clover Racing Stables. The partnership has 321 stakes wins with 29 Grade 1 winners. The best homebred to come from the partnership was ANIMAL KINGDOM. He won the 2011 Kentucky Derby and the 2013 Dubai World Cup. Recently, the partnership with Gary Barber, purchased BELVOIR BAY, the mare that was lost after the California San Luis Rey fire for 10 days and recently won the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Irwin recently stated that "I just think for me and my people and with my talents, we can do better and have more fun in Europe. With what's going on in America right now, I am not enjoying racing here as much. So I'd rather go to Europe where I can enjoy it."
The plan is to keep the 30 or so horses racing in the US under the Team Valor International banner, but all future acquisitions will be in horses overseas and continue their racing careers there.
Madeline Auerbach Retires from California Horse Racing Board
After serving for nearly six years at the California Horse Racing Board, Madeline Auerbach retired November 11, 2019. Her retirement comes during the change in direction of the board under Governor Gavin Newsome. She was first appointed to the board January 2, 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown and as to serve through 2022. As an owner and breeder in the state, she founded the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) for Thoroughbred aftercare in the state and plans to continue her role with the organization.
Assistant executive director Jacqueline Wagner retired November 7th and executive director Rick Baedecker plans to retire pending the placement of a new executive director.
Have a great week!
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