Del Mar, Calif – A recent report from the ‘San Diego Union Tribune’ showcases the longtime political controversy surrounding horse fatalities and it’s ties to political campaigns. A recent contribution filed from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club along with the California Secretary of State’s office shows us just how valuable horse racing is.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has reported contributing a total of $27,500 during the first three months of the 2013 fiscal year to various candidates and members of the legislature to which they support.
The San Diego Reader reports that much of the cash went to campaigns scheduled for future dates where many committees received as much as $500.00, including Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner for Senate 2016; Democratic Senator Bill Monning for Senate 2016; and Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman for Senate 2016; Republican Assemblywoman Connie Conway for Senate 2018; Democratic Senator Rod Wright for Board of Equalization 2018; Democratic Senator Mark Leno’s 2018 lieutenant governor’s campaign committee also received $500.00. Democrat Assemblyman Ben Hueso’s state senate campaign received $1,500.00.
Senator Rod Wright was appointed to Chair the Governmental Organization Committee, which oversees horseracing, public gaming, the National Guard, alcoholic beverages, and management of public safety emergencies and disaster response, and legislation permitting the use of state-controlled lands. Senator Mark Leno serves as Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee Budget and Assemblywoman Connie Conway is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. Additionally Democrat Assemblyman Ben Hueso serves as the President of the San Diego City Council and also serves as the California Coastal Commissioner. Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner formerly served as Chair of the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee. Democratic Senator Bill Monning was Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, He also served as a member of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Assembly Committee on Budget, Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, and Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media.
Major Donor Independent Expenditure Committee Statement from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for $27,500.00
With so many abrupt acute deaths to race horses, an investigation was led to find out if horses were given hormones to win races and make large sums of money. Reports linked Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to the death of seven horses on a list of as many as 36 horses that died in California in the past two years. One horse was owned by Mike Pegram, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and Three of the horses were owned by Kaleem Shah.
Reports from U-T San Diego say that Pegram’s 4-year-old colt, CJ Russell died last year after completing a June 15th race at Hollywood Park. The necropsy report stated that it was Baffert’s “fourth horse to collapse/die for this trainer in less than one year.”
U-T San Diego has requested necropsy information from all race horses that have died in the last 18 months in the State of California. The California Horse Racing Board reported that 19 horses have died acutely from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Baffert, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby based at Santa Anita, could not be reached for comment.