01/15/2010 12:00AM

CHRB elects new chairman


ARCADIA, Calif. - Keith Brackpool was elected chairman of the California Horse Racing Board on Friday, replacing owner-breeder John Harris, who did not seek re-election and said he will leave the board as a commissioner in coming months.

Brackpool, 52, is the chairman and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Cadiz Inc., a land and water company. In addition, Brackpool owns the Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Country Club and is a friend and campaign supporter of Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The owner of three Thoroughbreds based at Santa Anita, Brackpool was named to the racing board by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger in September.

Harris was first appointed to the racing board in 2000 and served as chairman in 2004-05. He was vice-chairman until last February when he resumed the role of chairman. Harris's current term as a commissioner will not expire until July 2011, but he will not serve that long, he said.

Harris said he will remain on the board "for a couple of months. I've got so many things going on. The problem is you're always looking to going to the races and not being the complaint department. It's really a lot of work. I tried to put a lot of time into it."

Harris owns Harris Ranch, a Thoroughbred and cattle operation in Coalinga, Calif. He said he will spend future time working on water rights issues in central California. Asked if leaving the racing board would have any effect on his role as a Thoroughbred owner and breeder, Harris said, "It probably enhances it."