As regular readers of this Blog know, I have been pounding on the CHRB to implement some important rule changes. Namely, better reporting of gelding and equipment changes; proportional Pick 6 and Pick 4 payoffs in the event of a dead-heat; and consolation Pick 4 pools in the event of a scratch—rather than automatically getting the favorite (assuming no alternate selection was selected). Well, I’m happy to report that good news is on the horizon. In their meeting on July 20, the Pari-Mutuel Operations Committee of the CHRB recommended all of these changes, which will be tremendous improvements for the horseplayer. I received an email from Mike Marten, Public Information Officer for the CHRB, which I have linked here under PMO Update. Marten spells out all the changes that were recommended or approved (the Pick 4 consolation pool ruling was approved by the full board on July 19 and figures to go into effect in about two months), and it’s hopefully now just a matter of time before implementation of the other recommendations. After spending a lot of personal time on email correspondence—with Marten and horseplayer liaison Jim Quinn)—and attending and briefly speaking at a PMO meeting during Santa Anita, it is very gratifying to perhaps have been a small instrument for positive change.

On the racing front: At Del Mar on Wednesday, GEORGIE BOY was impressive breaking his maiden in the Graduation Stakes, properly surviving a stewards’ inquiry in the process…have to admire 8-year-old PUBLICATION, closing from last off a walking early pace to whip his younger opponents in an optional claimer.

On Thursday, congratulations to jockey Luis Garcia, winning his first race in California aboard POLISH PETE in the 4th…we got our first two-turn wire-to-wire winner of the meet when class dropper YEARLY ATTITUDE scored an easy victory in the 3rd…extremely close photo finishes in races 4, 5 and 8, with a dead-heat between COMMANDER GARY and SEVEN NATION ARMY in the 5th.

On Friday, “betting owner” John Liviakis crushed again, hammering his THE WHITE LADY down to even money before romping home in the 3rd…Peter Miller again (his sixth winner of the meet) when CARSON’S COPPER won first off the claim…exciting finish in the 7th as BECRUX defended his title in the featured Wickerr Handicap…22nd time was the charm for trial maiden UNBRIDLED HARMONY, who finally got it done in the nightcap. I guess anything is possible over Polytrack.

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