Updated on 01/18/2013 6:24PM

Brackpool resigns from CHRB to take position with Stronach Group

Keith Brackpool, who has been chairman of the California Horse Racing Board for three years, said he has taken an 'equity share' with the Stronach Group.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Keith Brackpool resigned as chairman of the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday, and said on Friday that he has taken an “equity share” in the Stronach Group of racetracks and horse racing-related entities.

In a phone interview on Friday, Brackpool said he will direct Stronach’s West Coast operations, which includes two of the company’s racetracks – Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita. Brackpool said he will begin his new position next week.

Brackpool said he will be involved in the operation of other Stronach-related holdings, such as Gulfstream Park racetrack in Florida, the HRTV television network, and the Xpressbet account wagering service.

Brackpool had been chairman of the racing board since January 2010, but did not appear at Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting at Santa Anita. Brackpool said on Friday that he informed the office of California Gov. Jerry Brown of his resignation on Thursday.

Brackpool was appointed to the racing board by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2009.

“I’m staying in the sport and I’m making a commitment to the sport,” he said.

The racing board said in a statement on Friday that vice-chairman David Israel has assumed the role of chairman. Israel chaired Thursday’s racing board meeting.

Friday, Brackpool declined to detail his financial involvement with Stronach Group, which is led by Toronto auto parts magnate Frank Stronach, a leading breeder and owner of Thoroughbreds.

“I’m a huge fan of the sport,” Brackpool said. “We can do amazing things with the sport or I wouldn’t put my money where my mouth is.”

During his time as chairman of the racing board, Brackpool spearheaded legislation to raise the takeout on exotic bets to increase overnight purses, and to allow exchange wagering, which is still going through the rule-making procedure and has yet to be implemented.

Along with other members of the board, Brackpool fought for greater distribution of television signals on HRTV and TVG to allow Thoroughbred races from throughout the state to be shown on both networks.

On Friday, Brackpool, a 55-year-old native of England, said he will continue his involvement as chairman of Los Angeles-based Cadiz Inc., a land and water company.

Brackpool owns the Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Country Club and is a close associate of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In addition, Brackpool is an active Thoroughbred owner.