07/29/2010 4:29PM

Leonard Foote, formerly of California racing board, dies


Leonard Foote, a former executive director and investigator for the California Horse Racing board, died after a lengthy illness on Monday, the racing board announced on Thursday.

Foote died in Reno. He was 79.

Foote arrived at the racing board in 1966, having previously worked for the California Highway Patrol. Serving first as chief investigator, Foote was named executive secretary in 1976, a position later renamed executive director. Foote remained in that position until his retirement in 1990.

According to the board’s current executive director, Kirk Breed, Foote was instrumental in writing the rules and regulations for satellite wagering in California.

More than two decades after his retirement, Foote’s contribution to racing is recognized annually by the Association of Racing Commissioners International through the Len Foote Award, which is presented to an executive director for service in the advancement of integrity in racing and parimutuel wagering.

Foote is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan, three children, and seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Services have not been announced.