11/02/2011 4:28PM

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation names Monmouth Park's Lakow to board


The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's board of directors unanimously has voted Monmouth Park executive Mike Lakow to the foundation's board.

Lakow formerly was the New York Racing Association's racing secretary and was general manager at Hill 'n' Dale Farm. He has worked in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding business since 1977 and has held a variety of positions on the East Coast and in Dubai.

"Mike is the perfect candidate for the TRF board at this time," said the group's executive director of external affairs, Diana Pikulski. "This is a critical time for the racing industry on its road to showing the public that, as a business, it can plan for the meaningful retirement of its athletes. Mike knows the inner working of the racing and breeding business. Our ability to work within the industry's framework is a key element to our future success."

The retirement foundation, which cares for more than 1,100 retired racehorses, has been under fire this year after a New York Times article in March alleged it had neglected many of its horses. The story prompted the New York State attorney general's charities bureau to investigate the Saratoga Springs-based foundation. That investigation is ongoing, according to the Times.

The organization vigorously has disputed the newspaper's allegations, and its chief executive, Rob Hinkle, said last week that the herd's condition is "very good."

The foundation, whose charter prevents it from euthanizing horses in its care purely for financial reasons, currently is seeking volunteers to foster some of its horses in an effort to reduce its herd size.