07/25/2007 11:00PM

Gulfstream names Couch as racing secretary

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Gulfstream Park has named Bill Couch, the racing secretary and director of racing at Thistledown, as racing secretary for the 2008 meeting. Both tracks are owned by Magna Entertainment Corp.

Couch replaces Dave Bailey, who resigned the position at Gulfstream earlier this year. He will work under Bernie Hettel, a longtime steward who was recently named director of racing at Gulfstream.

Couch, 56, is a former trainer, jockey agent, and chart-caller for Daily Racing Form and has been a racing official since 1988.

Couch took a leave from Thistledown to help secure entries at Gulfstream's Palm Meadows training center during the 2007 meet. He said his main goal will be to maximize field sizes during the prime racing dates in south Florida.

"We expect the average field size to approach 10 horses a race next winter," said Couch.