08/19/2004 11:00PM

CHRB director leaving


Roy Wood will resign as the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board at the end of 2004, the CHRB announced on Friday.

Wood, 60, said he and his wife, Gennie, will relocate to Louisiana, where he will become part of the management of Foxwood Plantation, a Thoroughbred farm. Wood has a background as an owner, breeder, and trainer.

In a statement released by the CHRB, Wood said the primary reason for the couple's move was a respiratory problem that his wife experienced in Sacramento, where the CHRB is located.

Wood, the director of racing for the Texas Racing Commission in the early 1990's, joined the CHRB in 1994, and was executive director during a time when the board made national headlines because of a rash of medical positives.

Wood was criticized by leading horsemen for his handling of positive tests found in runners trained by Hall of Fame trainers Richard Mandella and Bobby Frankel, both of whom were later absolved.

Wood was also active in negotiations with lawyers representing jockey Patrick Valenzuela on the terms of the conditional license that allowed Valenzuela to return to riding in late 2001 after a 22-month absence because of a substance abuse violation.

In Wood's absence, Roy Minami, the assistant executive director, will head the CHRB while the organization seeks a replacement.