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Jeff Blea Named CHRB’s Next Equine Medical Director
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Monday, February 8, 2021 at 1:36 pm | Back to: Top News Updated: February 8, 2021 at 1:38 pm Dr. Jeff Blea will become the veterinary voice of the California Horse Racing Board upon the long-planned retirement of Dr. Rick Arthur from the position of Equine Medical Director (EMD). Dr. Gregory Ferraro, chairman of CHRB and a former equine veterinarian himself on the southern circuit, described Dr. Blea as “a nationally known and widely respected equine veterinarian” and said Blea “is recognized for his clear thinking and fairness in his decision making.” Under contract arrangements between the CHRB and the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at the University of California, Davis, the EMD serves as a member of its faculty. CHRB Executive Director Scott Chaney said the CHRB worked closely with UC Davis during the process, which was prolonged by the pandemic. A joint panel from UC Davis and the CHRB interviewed candidates and selected Dr. Blea. “We value this partnership,” Chaney said. “We were fortunate to consider several well-qualified candidates. I am very pleased with the process and the choice. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Blea to make racing safer at this critical time.” Dr. Blea brings 28 years of veterinary experience with him, and before that breifly rode as a jockey. He has served in leadership roles nationally with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and regionally with the Southern California Equine Foundation and was a director of the Dolly Green Research Foundation from 1999 to 2015. “As Equine Medical Director, I look forward to working with industry stakeholders in further advancing the progressive transformation of horse racing in California with the emphasis on horse safety, welfare, and integrity,” Blea said. “Dr. Blea is an excellent choice to become EMD. He has a broad background in horse racing and is well respected by his colleagues here in California and nationally,” added Arthur. Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts. This story was posted in Top News and tagged California Horse Racing Board, california racing, CHRB, equine medicine, Greg Ferraro, Jeff Blea, UC Davis.
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Trainer Julio Canani Dies
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Friday, February 5, 2021 at 3:17 pm | Back to: Top News Updated: February 5, 2021 at 3:18 pm Julio Canani | Getty Images Julio Canani, a three-time winning Breeders' Cup trainer who came to America from his native Peru in 1954, died Friday morning at a hospital in Pasadena, California, according to a story by Jay Privman in the Daily Racing Form. He was 82 years old. The DRF reported that Canani had been suffering from dementia and had recently contracted COVID-19. After settling in California with a job for trainer Tommy Doyle, he took out his own license in 1968. He won the 1989 Santa Anita Handicap with Martial Law, the 1999 and 2001 Breeders' Cup Mile with Silic and Val Royal, and the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Sweet Catomine, among numerous other top stakes races on the California circuit. Val Royal's owner, David Milch, based a character in his HBO series LUCK on Canani; the trainer Turo Escalante was played by actor John Ortiz. His career was forever tarnished in 2015 when he was suspended for 13 months for conduct detrimental to racing after a California jury found him liable for fraud over the sale of horses for owner Jeff Nielson, who was awarded over $80,000 in damages stemming from the suit. Canani applied for reinstatement in 2016, but was denied a license by the California Horse Racing Board. According to Equibase, Canani's runners won 1,137 races and $49,274,820 in earnings. Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts. This story was posted in Top News and tagged CHRB, Coronavirus, COVID-19, David Milch, John Ortiz, Julio Canani, LUCK, Silic, Turo Escalante, Val Royal.
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