The New York Racing Association, Inc. Hires Martin Panza as Senior Vice President of Racing Operations
By Eric Wing | 10/20/2013 10:53 AM ET
PHOTO/Photo/Hollywood Park Photo
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today the hiring of Martin Panza to the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Racing Operations.
Panza has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in thoroughbred racing. Since 1994, he has served as the Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., where he was responsible for all aspects of the daily racing operations. Panza's innovative leadership resulted in the creation of the American Oaks, a prestigious turf race for 3-year-old fillies that received a Grade I ranking in its initial year of eligibility. He also produced a sponsor for this event, American Airlines, and was able to recruit horses to the race from Europe, Asia and Australia. Panza also created the first guaranteed wager in the United States, a guaranteed Pick 6 for $1 million in 1998. He served two terms on the American Graded Stakes Committee, and he presently serves on the Breeders' Cup Selection Committee, the Dubai World Cup Selection Committee and the North American Ratings Committee for The Jockey Club. Prior to working at Hollywood Park, Panza served in a variety of racing positions at tracks including Santa Anita Park and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
"This is a very significant step in the continuing effort to successfully reorganize The New York Racing Association," said Dr. David Skorton, Chair of the NYRA Reorganization Board. "Martin is a proven leader with more than 25 years' experience. He will work very effectively with the other skilled executives currently in place at NYRA. The organization is moving in the right direction."
"The addition of Martin Panza will help ensure that The New York Racing Association offers-day in, day out-the nation's finest racing product," said NYRA Board member and accomplished owner/breeder Stuart S. Janney III. "I look forward to working with Martin in the months and years to come."
"Martin will bring skills that are so important as we strive to continuously improve our quality of racing," said Chris Kay, CEO and President of The New York Racing Association. "He will also work closely with New York State's Equine Medical Director to promote safety."
"It's a great honor to join the New York Racing Association team," said Panza. "I will work hard to present great racing and to create innovative ways to further increase the fan base."
Panza is expected to officially join NYRA late next month.
About The New York Racing Association, Inc.
NYRA's mission is "Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety." Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York's three major tracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state's thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State's urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2012, nearly 1.8 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $9 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including nyra.com, belmontstakes.com and nyragroupsales.com. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.