01/28/2010 12:00AM

Sadler elected CTT president

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Trainer John Sadler was elected president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers on Wednesday at the first meeting of the organization's newly elected board of directors.

Sadler is joined on the board by new members Bob Baffert, Jeff Bonde, Terry Knight, Doug O'Neill, Darrell Vienna, and Kathy Walsh. They will serve with Gloria Haley and John Shirreffs, who were on the previous board and were reelected. Vienna and Haley have been elected vice-presidents.

The board of the trainers' organization has undergone massive changes following a special election in recent weeks brought on by a group of disgruntled trainers who demanded new representation.

Sadler said the newly-seated board has three immediate objectives: replace Ed Halpern, who left his position on Wednesday as executive director; merge the group with the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the state's official representative for horsemen; and work with Santa Anita on the track's plans for a new racing surface later this year.

"We'd like to fold back in with the TOC," Sadler said. "We think we can be more effective with one organization."

Sadler said the trainers' group will poll its members for the second time within a year about which racing surface they would prefer at Santa Anita, a synthetic track or a dirt track. "The previous numbers indicate they want dirt," Sadler said.

Santa Anita officials said earlier this month they will replace the Pro-Ride brand synthetic track now in place because of persistent drainage problems, but have not stated which surface will be installed.