05/05/2011 12:24PM

Oak Tree: Robbins changes posts


Jack Robbins has switched titles at the Oak Tree Racing Association, giving up presidency of the not-for-profit organization to be chairman of the board of directors, Oak Tree announced on Wednesday.

Robbins, who is retired and lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is the last remaining founding director of Oak Tree, which operated an autumn race meeting at Santa Anita from 1969 to 2009 and at Hollywood Park in 2010.

Robbins will be replaced as president by California breeder John Barr.

In Wednesday’s statement, Oak Tree executive vice-president Sherwood Chillingworth said, “Dr Robbins has provided outstanding leadership during the history of Oak Tree, including the last 11 years as president, a time of great change for Oak Tree and the industry. He now wants to spend more time with his wife, Maggie, who has been very ill for several years.”

Barr, who races under the banner Oakcrest Stables, has been an Oak Tree director for 14 years and is a former president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He is a member of the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee.

Oak Tree will not formally hold a race meeting this fall. The dates typically run by Oak Tree were awarded in February to Santa Anita’s parent company, MI Developments.

MI Developments reached a financial arrangement with Oak Tree earlier this year for the right to run the well-known Breeders’ Cup stakes preps runs during past Oak Tree meetings. The deal allows Oak Tree to continue donations to various organizations affiliated with the sport.

Oak Tree officials have indicated it will seek racing dates in 2012, potentially at Del Mar.