Updated on 01/16/2014 4:49PM

Aqueduct: Dan Eidson named racing secretary


Dan Eidson has been hired as the racing secretary for Aqueduct, one of two racing secretaries the New York Racing Association will employ in 2014, according to Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations for the organization.

Panza said the announcement of a racing secretary for the Belmont Park and Saratoga meets is still about two weeks away.

Panza, who came here from Hollywood Park in November, believes that having one person writing condition books for 52 weeks a year of racing is “too much to ask of one person.” Typically, NYRA has employed only one racing secretary, most recently P.J. Campo, who last month left NYRA to join the Stronach Group as vice-president of racing. From 1995-97 NYRA employed Howard Battle as racing secretary during the Saratoga meeting.

“Hats off to P. J. and [Mike] Lakow for doing it for all these years. I think it’s better to split it up,” Panza said. “Certainly, the salary is split up too.”

Eidson will work in the racing office during the Belmont and Saratoga meets, Panza said.

Eidson, 63, follows Panza from Hollywood Park, where he was assistant racing secretary to Panza and the track’s stakes coordinator. When Panza took the job at NYRA, Eidson was elevated to racing secretary for that track’s final meet.

Prior to working at Hollywood Park, Eidson worked as racing secretary at Golden Gate Fields for 18 years and spent 2002 at Delaware Park.

“He’s been with me for a long time at Hollywood Park so there’s a comfort level there,” Panza said. “Hopefully, he understands my philosophy, which is try to make the book [go], stay away from writing a lot of extras, which we’re getting there a little bit at Aqueduct, but it’s going to take a little bit of time. It’ll be more in place at Belmont.”

Eidson said he doesn’t anticipate making too many changes to New York’s racing program right away.

“Obviously, the racing program here is completely different than the racing program we’re used to in California,” Eidson said. “The year I spent at Delaware Park sort of introduced me to what to expect. It’ll take a month or two - maybe sooner - to get a good line on what works, what doesn’t work.”

The first condition book Eidson will write will be for the races starting Feb. 14.