02/09/2006 12:00AM

Tromba leaves Louisiana Downs

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Ray Tromba has resigned his position as vice president of racing operations at Louisiana Downs, ending a more than 18-year tenure with the Bossier City, La., track. Tromba said he submitted his resignation last week, and it became effective on Thursday.

Tromba said he wanted to spend more time with his family. He said he wanted to resign well in advance of the opening of the Louisiana Downs meet on May 5 as a courtesy to officials with Harrah's, which owns the track.

"It's the right time for me," said Tromba, who turned 49 on Thursday. "I've been giving it some thought for a while. I've given a lot of my life to Louisiana Downs, and I want to give a lot of my life to my family as well."

Tromba, whose father has been ill for the past six months, has a 13-year-old son. Tromba said he plans to remain in Bossier City for the time being, and will look into some non-racing business opportunities in the community that have been presented to him.

"Throughout the years, Ray has helped establish Harrah's Louisiana Downs as one of the South's finest Thoroughbred racetracks," said Patrick Dennehy, regional president and general manger for Harrah's. "He has represented Harrah's Louisiana Downs well in the racing and local community."

"I love Louisiana Downs, and I always will," said Tromba. "I'll enjoy going out as a patron, and being a railbird. It's been a great run. I'm proud of the run."

Tromba joined the staff at Louisiana Downs in June 1987 as director of marketing and public relations. He was promoted to assistant general manger under Tom Sweeney in 1989, then in 1993 was named general manager of Louisiana Downs.

When the track was purchased by Harrah's in 2003, he was named vice president of racing operations at the facility, which under Harrah's has opened a slots casino. There are also plans to build a hotel at Louisiana Downs.

It was unclear on Thursday who would succeed Tromba.

* Tromba confirmed on Thursday that Louisiana Downs announcer and publicist Frank Mirahmadi is no longer with the company.