12/08/2017 11:46AM

Swartzlander named executive director of California Authority of Racing Fairs


Larry Swartzlander finally got the interim tag removed from his title and has been named executive director of the California Authority of Racing Fairs.

Swartzlander, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, has been with CARF for 15 years, serving in facility management and racing operations as director of racing and chief operating officer before taking over as interim executive director upon the retirement of Chris Korby in November 2016.

A graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program and the University of Southern California, Swartzlander developed CARF’s racetrack safety and maintenance program and its out-of-state recruitment program.

Swartzlander, who also is a horse owner, said the fairs will not decrease purses or stakes in 2018.

“The model of the fairs will be purses, purses, purses,” he said. “Trainer incentives have been helpful, but purses are a key.”

Swartzlander said CARF has begun a recruiting process for California businesses with the goal of raising an additional $2.5 million for fair purses during the fair racing season.

The fairs also will come up with a new racing schedule for 2018, with the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meet expanding its summer meet to four weeks from three weeks and eliminating its fall meeting. The schedule also will provide the Humboldt County Fair with one week of racing not overlapping with Golden Gate Fields.