05/10/2013 3:08PM

Satish Sanan resigns from Breeders' Cup board


Satish Sanan, the outspoken owner of Padua Stables, resigned his seat on the Breeders’ Cup board of directors Thursday, saying the organization had become too sensitive to public discussion of the board’s deliberations and had lost its way strategically.

Sanan, who was appointed to the board a decade ago, said Friday that he had seen the organization make little progress over the past 10 years on long-term strategic goals he supported. He added that he had recently been criticized by other board members because of his openness in discussing Breeders’ Cup policies.

“It’s just been an awful lot of frustration built up over a 10-year period,” Sanan said.

Sanan is a frequent guest on a satellite-radio horse racing show, and he also is often quoted by members of the media in stories focusing on the Breeders’ Cup and its board.

The board is comprised of 13 members who serve four-year terms.

Sanan is the second director to resign from the Breeders’ Cup board in the past two months. In March, Oliver Tait, the chief operating officer of the international racing and breeding operation Darley, resigned, citing dissatisfaction over the board’s decision to suspend a policy that would have banned the raceday use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide before all 14 of the event’s races this year.

Sanan supported the board’s decision to suspend the policy, citing the potential financial ramifications of a ban on the drug, which could have led to declines in field size and handle at the event. The decision to suspend the policy was deeply unpopular in Europe, where the raceday use of furosemide is prohibited.

In the Friday interview, Sanan said that his public support for the decision to suspend the policy led to personal attacks from other board members and racing officials.

“If you’re telling me I can’t do that [discuss Breeders’ Cup decisions in public], that is not acceptable,” Sanan said.

Also this year, Tom Ludt resigned the chairmanship of the Breeders’ Cup board while maintaining his seat after he took a position with The Stronach Group, a private company that owns Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park, among other tracks and racing assets. The Breeders’ Cup will elect a new chairman at a meeting in June.