High-Ranking Official on Future of California Racing: “I think it’s at risk”

As Santa Anita readies to re-open this Friday, and the battle there resumes, I give you these truly remarkable and decidedly auspicious (for us) comments from a high-ranking racing official. In a recent interview with FoxLA, Rick Baedeker, executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, said that the 26 dead racehorses at Santa Anita since Christmas and the ensuing media storm has been “a nightmare for everyone connected with Racing…and we can’t seem to wake up.” Then, in reference to Princess Lili B and her two broken legs (which the Fox affiliate caught) on March 14: “I don’t know what to tell you Hal…you just wonder if this dark cloud will ever lift.”

But it was toward the end of the interview that Baedeker broke, shockingly, with SRP (Standard Racing Propaganda) – you know, Racing will figure this out and come back stronger than ever – in answering the questions, “Is this possibly a Blackfish moment? Could that happen here?”: “It could. It could.” Then, when queried about the future of horseracing in California, Baedeker, in a stunning moment of raw, unfiltered candor, said: “Well, I think it’s at risk. I think it’s at risk.” Prompted to expound: “The voters authorized [it] back in 1933; they have the ultimate call.” Wow.

If ever there was a moment for unrelenting pressure on this vile industry, this is it. If you are in the LA area (or even thinking about taking a trip), please consider joining the Santa Anita protest this Friday. The horses need us – to stand for them, to speak for them, to save them. If unable, voice your protest in any number of other ways – signing petitions (Cal, NY), writing letters-to-editors, being active on social media, calling or emailing politicians, and simply talking to anyone and everyone you know. Horseracing is staggered and, as the above clearly shows, feeling ever so vulnerable. Let’s not waste this golden moment. Let’s press the thing.

(full Fox video)


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  1. I would also encourage anybody in California to attend the CHRB meeting tomorrow that’s March 28, 2019 at the Santa Anita racetrack.
    You have every right to contact the CHRB confirm the schedule, the time, the location because they’ve already cancelled one meeting knowing that they will finally be held accountable for killing racehorses.
    According to the site, they will have a closed meeting and then a PUBLIC comment time open to those who want to get up and please be a voice for the racehorses.
    For anybody unable to attend, there’s going to be a LIVE audio webcast that is accessible on the CHRB website.
    We are 600,000 signatures away from finally ending this brutal horror show and public butcher show for racehorses.
    I implore PETA to step up to the plate and to organize this petition to submit it to the government so it can get on the voting ballot.
    They have the power, political clout with the animal community in California – I can’t understand why they’ve not done this yet.

  2. California residents GRANTED horse racing the right to operate in 1933.
    Horse racing now operates under virtual impunity by not releasing the names of racehorses who drop dead, nor do they disclose whether that horse has an equine insurance policy in place while they keep their doping/vet records secret all of which clearly demonstrates a business “entitled” to operate with little transparency to the public and to California residents who have this horror show going on in their backyards.
    Furthermore, the people who make the billions, the wagering companies, are mostly foreign-owned such as TVG (owned by British based BETFAIR), who employs very little Americans, who pays little to no taxes in California, gives little to nothing to racehorse aftercare while they use all of the infrastructure and resources paid for by California residents.
    California residents get little to nothing in return to permit horse racing to operate unless you count the puddles of blood left on their dirt tracks by the countless racehorses snapping their legs-off, and shattering their bones.
    Vote horse racing out and shut down this public butcher show now.

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