Emerald Downs concludes live racing for 2021
The 2021 Emerald Downs race meet came to a conclusion on September 26. Racing fans were able to attend the 2021 racing season, although with changing COVID restrictions throughout the season. Live racing was conducted two days a week schedule from May 26 through June 17 on a Wednesday/Thursday schedule. Sundays were added beginning June 20. On July 1 live racing switched to a Thursday, Saturday, Sunday schedule. The final three weeks Saturday and Sunday's offered live racing. Overall a total of 49 days of live race days were conducted.
On the track, Horse of the Meeting went to three year old Top Executive, who was three for three at the meet, including the Muckleshoot Derby. Top Executive was owned by John and Janene Maryanski and Gail and Gerald Schenider, trained by Blaine Wright. Other year end honors went to Papas Golden Boy as Top Older Horse, Top Sprinter, and Top Washington Bred. Papas Golden Boy was owned by Gary, Deborah, Jeff, and Peyton Lusk, trained by Vince Gibson. Other awards were, Top older filly or mare was Daffodil Sweet, owned by Jody Peetz's One Horse Will Do Corp and Steve Shimizu, conditioned by Chris Stenslie, Float On, Top Claimer, who raced for multiple owners and trainers during the season. Top Two year old Filly, Koron, owned by Blue Ribbon Farm and conditioned by Kay Cooper, Top Two year old Colt or Gelding, Cobra Jet, owners REV Racing and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, trainer Frank Lucarelli, and Top Three year old Filly, Bayakoas Image, owned by Nite and Day Stable and Joanne Todd, Kay Cooper trainer. For the second straight year, leading rider honors went to Alex Cruz where the outcome wasn't decided until the next to the last race of the season. Apprentice jockey McKenna Anderson was victorious in 12 races to lead that category. Long time Washington State resident and trainer Joe Toye claimed his first title as leading trainer winning with 29 starters and John Parker was once again leading owner for the fourth time in six years.
A highlight of the 2021 race season was, as always, the Longacres Mile, which was voted Race of the meet. Background came from off the pace to get up in the final strides with former Emerald Downs leading rider Rocco Bowen flying in from Chicago's Arlington Park to accept the mount for local trainer Mike Puhich. The owner was popular long time voice of the Washington Huskies and long time participant in Washington racing, Bob Rondeau and his wife Molly.
With the return of fans to the venue, wagering showed a dramatic increase with a total in-state handle on Emerald Downs races of $5,007,157.30 wagered on the 49 days for an average per day handle of $102,186.88, up from 2020 when $1,359,693.00 and an average of $35,781.39 per day.
Commission Chair Robert Lopez named Chair of ARCI
Lexington, KY - The Chairman of the Washington State Horse Racing Commission, Robert Lopez, is the new Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Lopez replaces Tom Sage of Nebraska whose term expired.
Lopez will lead the association at a transitional time in North American racing as a new federal law in the United States is implemented creating a new national regulatory entity to partner with existing state commissions.
A graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, Lopez is a longtime law enforcement professional who worked his way up as a member of the Washington State Patrol before retiring as Assistant Chief in 2001.
In 2002, Lopez began a second career in horse racing regulation, joining the staff of the racing commission and again working his way up to become Executive Secretary. In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve as a Member of the Commission and subsequently elevated to serve as Commission Chairman.
For many years Lopez has been a key leader within the ARCI, serving on its Board of Directors and the prestigious Model Rules Committee.
The ARCI held its Annual Meeting online yesterday to elect ten At-Large Directors to augment those designated by the top five horse racing jurisdictions as measured by live race days consistent with the organization’s ByLaws. The five automatic Board Members are: Brent Stone, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario; Rob Williams, New York Gaming Commission; Chairman Scott Borgemenke, Ohio State Racing Commission; Anthony Salerno, Pennsylvania Racing Commission; Louis Trombetta, Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
The following individuals were elected yesterday to the RCI Board:
At its next Board meeting, the ARCI will elect two additional Board Members to serve as Secretary/Chair-elect and Treasurer. Chairman Lopez will also appoint two additional At-Large Members consistent with his authority under the ByLaws.
The ARCI is a “board driven” entity and its President and staff implement and articulate policies and positions that represent the decisions made by the Members. Every regulatory agency member is represented at Board meetings as an “Ex-Officio” Board Member.
WHRC Owners License Applications and Labor and Industries Premiums
All owners applying for a WHRC license are required to pay a subsidy to the Horsemen's Labor and Industries Account. The amount is based on the percentage of horses owned. The maximum amount to be paid is $150.00. The WHRC calculates the premium at a minimum of 10% ownership and then rounded up in increments of 5% after. Percentage of multiple horses are added together for calculations. For example, if an individual owns 11% of one horse and 12.5% of a second horse for a total of 23.5%, the percentage is rounded up to 25% and the L & I premium would be $37.50. Once an owner has paid $150.00, no additional premium is required. Below is a chart for premiums due:
1% to 10% ownership = $15.00
11% to 15% ownership = $22.50
16% to 20% ownership = $30.00
21% to 25% ownership = $37.50
26% to 30% ownership = $45.00
31% to 35% ownership = $52.50
36% to 40% ownership = $60.00
41% to 45% ownership = $67.50
46% to 50% ownership = $75.00
51% to 55% ownership = $82.50
56% to 60% ownership = $90.00
61% to 65% ownership = $97.50
66% to 70% ownership = $105.00
71% to 75% ownership = $112.50
76% to 80% ownership = $120.00
81% to 85% ownership = $127.50
86% to 90% ownership = $135.00
91% to 95% ownership = $142.50
96% to 100% ownership = $150.00
This premium is addition to the actual license fees of $96.00 plus $10.00 fingerprint fee, ($106.00), for all applicants over the age of 17 and under the age of 70. For those under 18 or over 69 the license fee is $96.00.
If you are unsure of how to calculate the ownership percentages or have any questions please call the WHRC offices at 360-459-6462 in Olympia or 253-931-6372 at Emerald Downs.
2021 WHRC Approved thresholds for therapeutic medication and withdrawal guidelines
The WHRC and the Equine Medical Director have published a listing for 2021 of all approved therapeutic medications thresholds, and withdrawal guidelines. Additionally, information regarding compounded medication, nutraceuticals, and the use of CBD oils are provided by clicking on the links below:
Cannabidiol Bulletin Feb. 2019 - click here
CBD Update - click here
RMTC Nutraceuticals 101 A Trainer's Guide - click here
WHRC Thresholds 2021 - click here
WHRC Withdrawal Time Recommendations 2021 - click here
Now Accepting Credit & Debit Cards
The Washington Horse Racing Commission is now accepting Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit and debit cards for the payment of WHRC license fees, Labor & Industries Industrial Insurance premiums and other fines/fees collected. A service fee of 3% will be added to all credit or debit transactions.
Rulemaking Notification List
Any person who wishes to receive notification about WHRC rulemaking activities can be added to the stakeholder list. Requests to be added to the stakeholder list may be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone at 360-459-6462, by fax at 360-459-6461, or by mail at 6326 Martin Way, Suite 209, Olympia, WA 98516-5578.
Follow the WHRC Board of Stewards on Twitter
You can now follow the WHRC Board of Stewards on twitter. Get the latest rider changes, scratches, etc. directly from the stewards. Limited explanation of inquires and objections will be posted with a link to the Emerald Downs website for daily stewards report with a more detailed explanation that are up within 72 hours of each race day. Click here to start following at @whrcstewards for all the information.
The WHRC adopted changes to WAC 260-36-100 in 2019 which resulted in changes to the fingerprint requirements for applicants and licensees. Fingerprint based criminal history checks through the FBI are normally required every five years but may be required at any time. Each year every person between the ages of eighteen and sixty-nine must pay a $10 fingerprint processing fee in addition to the license fees. Any applicant or licensee over the age of sixty-nine or under the age of eighteen will not be required to pay the $10 fingerprint fee unless fingerprints are requested by the WHRC and they will be required to pay the entire cost of the submission at time of processing. Additionally, fingerprints may be required in the following circumstances:
2020 WHRC Annual Report
The Washington Horse Racing Commission's 2020 Annual Report to the Governor is available to view by visiting the WHRC Forms and Reports page or clicking here.
Washington State’s Down the Stretch Ranch Garners National Attention
Down The Stretch Ranch co-founded in 2015 by Hall of Fame Trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, his wife Janet, and Boone McCanna in Creston, Washington has gotten national attention recently. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit thoroughbred race horse retirement facility which connects injured or retired racehorses with United States Veterans and through the use of equine therapy helps bring comfort and companionship to veterans.
Down The Stretch ranch was recently placed in national spotlight by trainer Doug O’Neill whose support of the foundation was on display during Breeders Cup week when his horses wore coolers featuring Down The Stretch Ranch. The Paulick Report also recently featured an article written by Hank Wesch of Del Mar about Down The Stretch Ranch and the work it is doing with retired thoroughbred racehorses and veterans that can be viewed by clicking here.
For more information on Down The Stretch Ranch and what can be done to support their cause please visit their website http://www.downthestretch.org/ or their Facebook page by clicking here.
Labor and Industries Rates for 2021
The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has published its 2021 industrial insurance rates for the Horse Industry Account. Rates are determined by data from the previous five years, July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 of exposure and claim experience. Rate have increased slightly after decreasing the previous two years. For Risk Class 6625, (grooms and assistant trainers, monthly), 6626, (Exercise and pony riders at the track, per horse per day), and 6627, (Exercise and pony riders on a farm, per hour).
Good safety procedures in the stable area and ensuring that no fraudulent claims are filed are the best ways to stabilize and continue to reduce premiums in the future.
The following are the industrial insurance rates for 2021:
ARCI discusses regulation against "doping" and medication violations
The Association of Racing Commissioners International, of which the WHRC is a current member, and the University of Florida Racing Laboratory has released a five minute video in which the history of medication and horse racing is discussed. The video discusses current standards and protections in place to detect and deter intentional administrations. The WHRC has adopted virtually all of the recommended threshold levels currently recommended by the ARCI. Click here or scroll down to view the video.