10/18/2013 3:05PM

Panza will join New York Racing Association as racing vice president


Martin Panza, a racing executive at Betfair Hollywood Park for two decades, has been hired as the senior vice president of racing operations for the New York Racing Association, a source with knowledge of the hire confirmed Friday.

Neither NYRA nor Panza would comment on the hire. It was uncertain when an official announcement would be made or when Panza would start his new job.

It is expected that Panza, 50, will hold the No. 2 managerial position under NYRA president and CEO Christopher Kay, who was hired in July.

Panza is the vice president of racing and racing secretary at Hollywood, a track that is scheduled to hold its final meeting this fall.

Panza’s role at NYRA will include overseeing the racing department, which is currently led by P.J. Campo, whose title is vice president/director of racing. For the time being, Campo is expected to remain in place as the racing secretary.

Trainer John Shirreffs, who for years was based at Hollywood Park before sending a string to New York earlier this year, said Panza will be a “very good” addition to NYRA.

“He’s innovative,” Shirreffs said. “He thinks outside of the box. He’s always looking for some way to develop a top-class racing program.”

Panza has served on the American Graded Stakes Committee and chaired a committee of racing secretaries who worked to help expand the Breeders’ Cup in 2008.

Hollywood Park is known for its turf festival in the fall, which was introduced in 1991. In 2002, Panza created the American Oaks, a turf race for 3-year-old fillies which became a Grade 1 race in 2004.

Also, NYRA is seeking a new general counsel to replace Ken Handal, whose contract was not renewed. Handal has served as the association’s general counsel since May 2012, replacing Patrick Kehoe, who was fired along with NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward after NYRA was found to have improperly overtaxed bettors on certain exotic wagers.

AzLimitPoker More than 1 year ago
Way to go NY...enjoy the 4 days a week 7&8 race cards with 6 horse fields...can you feel the excitement!!!!!!
Walter More than 1 year ago
To all ignorant folks from the east coast. This applies to those who are ripping Martin Panza & do not even know him. He has done a tremendous job at Hol over the years. This is a guy who makes lemonade when given lemons. Hol was long considered the 3rd track in SoCal compared to SA and Dmr. He was able to get cards filled at the ends of the Hol summer meets when most trainers want to wait for Dmr. And, at the ends of Hol Fall meets when trainers want to wait for SA. Good job at Hollywood and best of luck in NY.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Im very proud of him.
wolves More than 1 year ago
just what we need...more bureaucracy
Marc More than 1 year ago
Any relation to "Sancho Panza"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Panza may have racing secretary skills, but let's not go overboard here. . Nat Wess introduced Pick Six wagering at Hollywood decades ago following the lead of the "5-10 wager" that was in play at Caliente in Baja Mexico. There also have been Pick Six "guaranteed pools" well before Panza put them into place at Hollywood.
Dickie RCowles More than 1 year ago
More politics and leech tactics.Nothing about west coast racing should be introduced east or elsewhere.or vice versa
Csun More than 1 year ago
Best racing executive there is. Invented the Pick 6 guarantees, created the Super Hi-5, lobbied to get the quinella introduced to California among other contributions. Along with Rick Baedecker, Martin came up with the majority of original ideas in Calfornia.
Robert Cohen More than 1 year ago
None of which helped to fill races or bring people to the track.
Ray Manley More than 1 year ago
Best racing executive there is has to be Lou Raffeto. Wonder if they offered the job to Lou.
mikey More than 1 year ago
He is the best around.He knows too much, so why woukd they hire him.He might do the right thing.
Steve More than 1 year ago
The Super Hi 5????? The worst bet in racing
Russell More than 1 year ago
Except for possibly the quinella.
Roger More than 1 year ago
Who fed you that b.s. Rene Romero, a customer at HPark suggested the Guaranteed $$ P-6 during a meeting that included Panza and Euall Wyatt among others. Super Hi 5 is an awful high risk bet in the last race and your information that Panza and R. Baedecker came up with the majority of original ideas at HPark is simply untrue....RB would even admit that.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
A perfect fit ! CHRB and NYRA go hand I n hand, compatible et al ect ect
Greg Brent More than 1 year ago
California's loss is certainly New York's gain. Martin Panza is a brilliant racing mind....innovative with a love of the sport of horse racing. We are all sad to see another California track close (especially Hollywood Park with its colorful history) and now California not surprisingly is losing one of its more gifted directors of the sport. We wish Martin the best of luck in his new position.
mikey More than 1 year ago
What did he do for HWP.Just another guy from a place that went under.
Roger More than 1 year ago
Aside from his Racing Secretary job....what innovations are you talking about at HPark? How many employees is he responsible for at his Racing Secreatary job?
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
They could not find a NY person, or a person with racing experience, says much about their low pay offers