December 05, 1997
ALBANY, CA -- The members of the California Horse Racing Board unanimously re-elected Commissioner Ralph Scurfield to the position of chairman during their regular monthly meeting Friday, and named Commissioner Stefan Manolakas vice chairman of the Board. Both terms are for one year.

Scurfield, who was first appointed to the Board in 1991 by Governor George Deukmejian, has since been reappointed twice by Governor Pete Wilson. His current term as a CHRB commissioner expires July 26, 1999. Scurfield was first named chairman in 1992 and has retained that post with the unanimous support of his colleagues ever since.

A popular leader outside of California as well, Scurfield has served as an officer of the Association of Racing Commissioners International since 1994 and will become president of that influential organization in 1998.

Scurfield’s heavy involvement in civic affairs dates back to the 1960s when he served on the Sacramento Planning Commission and the Sacramento City Council. He is president of the Scurfield Company in Sacramento, dealing in property investment and commercial development and management.

Manolakas, also a resident of Sacramento, was appointment to the Board by Governor Wilson in 1991. His current term expires January 1, 1999. He serves as chairman of the CHRB’s Medication Committee. He is president of Palisades Development, Inc., a real estate development company, which is responsible for land acquisition, project development, processing governmental entitlements, and construction of mixed-use land developments.

In other business, the Board learned the details of a horse racing-themed Lottery game that supporters hope will open the door to cross-promotions and other cooperative efforts between the California Lottery and horse racing industry.

Jim Hasegawa, manager of the game development division of the California Lottery, reported that the new game will be called "The Daily Derby" and it will begin January 20.

Although the new game will be based on random selections and will not be tied in any way to an actual horse race, the fact that it will have a horse racing theme caught the attention of the horse racing industry, which has led to numerous suggestions for cross-promotions between the two industries, such as racing offering half-price admission tickets to lottery participants.

Norm Towne, executive president of the Federation of California Racing Associations, said the "tracks view this as an important first step" toward greater cooperation between the California Lottery and horse racing.

Some of the racing commissioners took the opportunity to suggest other ways the two industries could work together, such as cross-advertising, using the names of real horses in the Lottery game, using an actual horse race to determine the Lottery winner. There was also a brief discussion about the possibility of adapting the state’s 19,000 Lottery terminals to process wagering on horse races, which would require legislation.

Chairman Scurfield summarized the matter by concluding, "This (new game) has started the dialogue for some things that we hope you people (in the horse racing industry) will come up with in the future, and we will be the conduit."

The Board approved the license for Bay Meadows to conduct a horse racing meeting from January 22 through March 29. The meet will be limited to a maximum of 459 races. Racing will generally be conducted Wednesday through Sunday at the San Mateo facility.

The Board approved the distribution of $173,000 by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to 21 beneficiaries -- 45 % of which will go to racing-relating charities -- and of $518,360 by the Santa Anita Foundation to 60 beneficiaries -- 20 % of which are racing related.

The Board learned that discussions are continuing for development of a turf program for the summer fair circuit in Northern California.

Representatives of jockeys, owners, trainers, and racing associations advised the Board that discussions are continuing concerning sponsorships, logos, and advertising, but the industry is still some time away from presenting a concrete proposal to the Board relating to such issues as allowing jockeys to wear advertising during races.

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association presented a schedule of 62 California-bred restricted stakes races that will provide more than $5.5 million in purses next year to Cal-breds.

The Board approved an agreement between the California Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Los Alamitos Racing Association regarding the reimbursement of $492,000 in purse overpayments dating back to 1991 and 1992.

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