Although a substantive decision on the status of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer hasn’t been made, his horses may be able to race at Del Mar when its summer season opens Wednesday.
The Daily Racing Form reported Thursday that Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s top assistant, has taken steps to become a trainer of record.
Some horses now under Hollendorfer’s direction at Los Alamitos will be transferred to Del Mar on Monday, according to the Form.
Hollendorfer was banned from Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields by the Stronach Group — which owns both tracks — ostensibly because of his safety record.
Of the 30 horses that died in racing or training during Santa Anita’s winter-spring season, four were trained by Hollendorfer. The main track and turf course took on heavy rain in the winter, and Santa Anita suspended racing for three weeks in March.
Nine horses died during Golden Gate Fields’ winter-spring season, with one or two trained by Hollendorfer, depending on the sources of statistics.
There is no current ruling against Hollendorfer for any violations by either Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields or the California Horse Racing Board.
Although the New York Racing Association also banned Hollendorfer — after first accepting his participation — it allowed horses he had trained that were owned by Larry Best to be transferred to Don Chatlos. Chatlos also had been a Hollendorfer assistant.
Del Mar indicated this week that it would not allot stalls to Hollendorfer because of public-relations concerns. Discussions have been ongoing since then.
“You’re asking me for clarification on something that hasn’t been clarified yet,” Hollendorfer told The Chronicle by phone. “We’re still talking to Del Mar about the situation. You’re asking me to tell you what’s going to happen. You’re trying to get an end result from something that all the facts aren’t in yet.”
It’s unclear what justification Del Mar could have for barring Hollendorfer, except for public relations. According to statistics examined from multiple sources by The Chronicle, he hasn’t had a horse die at Del Mar in the past three years.
No Del Mar official would comment on Hollendorfer, just as no one from the Stronach Group or the NYRA has done outside of a written statement by the former.
Hollendorfer is running horses at Los Alamitos, whose summer season ends Sunday, and on the Northern California fair circuit. Both emphatically approved of his participation.
“I’m doing the best I can,” Hollendorfer said.
Larry Stumes is a freelance writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Jerry-Hollendorfer-horses-to-race-at-Del-Mar-14089944.php.