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California Moves Forward With Weigh-Out Procedures

Thoroughbred Times
November 4, 2005

Under a committee recommendation, weigh-out procedures will be conducted in full public view at California racetracks as the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday moved forward with plans to revise procedures on the weighing of jockeys for races.

The board hopes to ensure that horses carry their assigned weights and the public is accurately informed of those weights.

“We need to ensure the integrity of our procedures and provide transparency to the whole process,” said the board’s chairman, john Harris.

In September, a 116 page indictment against former New York Racing Association Clerk of Scales Mario Sclafani and assistant Braulio Baeza alleged that they allowed jockeys at NYRA’s three racetracks to ride overweight without informing the public and subsequently falsified records.

With that scandal in New York, Harris last month created a committee headed by Richard Shapiro to review the issue in California.

In his report released to the board on Thursday, Shapiro said the committee would recommend that when jockeys weight out before a race, that procedure will be conducted in full public view with a steward or designee present. Video cameras also will be installed to record the process.

Shapiro said all jockeys at California tracks would be provide with CHRB rules regarding the attendance, behavior and responsibilities pertaining to weight in. The committee included jockeys, owners, and trainers, racing association members and racing officials.