01/16/2014 1:20PM

Rick Baedeker named California Horse Racing Board executive director


ARCADIA, Calif. – Rick Baedeker, the former president of Hollywood Park, has been named executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, the regulatory board announced Thursday.

The racing board met in a private executive session before its scheduled meeting on Thursday to approve Baedeker’s appointment unanimously, according to chairman Chuck Winner. The position has been vacant since last summer, following the death of Kirk Breed from an illness.

The appointment is contingent upon Baedeker completing the state’s formal hiring process, according to a statement read at the start of the meeting by Winner.

Baedeker, 64, oversaw Hollywood Park from 1999 to 2005 when the track was owned by Churchill Downs Inc. In recent years, Baedeker has worked as a consultant for the Breeders’ Cup in California and has helped in the development of mini-satellites in Southern California at restaurants and bars.

In the 1990s, he worked as a marketing executive at Hollywood Park and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and held leadership positions at The Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, Kan., and with Television Games Network during its early development.

Baedeker has spent much of his life around the racetrack. He is the son of the late handicapper Bud Baedeker, who had a family public handicapping business based in Southern California.

Baedeker, who lives in Southern California, will be required to relocate to Sacramento, where the racing board is based.