Born and raised in Southern California, I graduated from Pasadena High School and attended USC for two years. I sold Fords, VWs, and BMWs, eventually opening my own BMW dealership in 1979 and adding Mini Cooper in 2002. My two children, Nick and Elizabeth, now run Nick Alexander Imports since I retired; and I run our horse ranch in Santa Ynez. My wife, Mary, and I have been married 50 years and have four grandchildren.
I have raced Thoroughbreds in California for 40 years. Phil D’Amato and Steve Miyadi are my trainers. In the last few years I have raced only Cal-bred homebreds. On our 280 acre ranch we grow alfalfa, oats, and forage hay to feed our broodmare band of 28 mares and their offspring. We have produced three graded stakes winners, Enola Gray, California champion three-year-old filly in 2016, Pee Wee Reese, and Grazen, now a successful stallion. We were #2 breeder in California by money won in 2017.
I’ve served on the TOC board for six years, formerly as Chairman. The TOC has a wide range of goals being involved in all aspects of California racing, but our two main goals are to maximize purses at California tracks and insure the long-term stability and growth of racing in our state to give California owners the best possible chance to succeed. Bigger purses and a secure future encourage owners to buy and breed better horses. I’m proud to say the TOC board and staff work tirelessly toward those goals.
I began my first company when I was 20 years old. With excellent work ethic and determination, I’ve developed more than 10 successful companies. I’m the CEO of California Landscape & Design and California Skateparks, the world’s most recognized skatepark design and build firm. I’ve completed several projects for celebrities and professional athletes, including Rafael Bejarano and Tony Hawk. My wife, Stephanie, and our children, Ashley and Anthony, are all integral to the family businesses.
In 1999, I claimed my first horse at Del Mar. I began breeding horses in 2004 and started buying from sales in 2009. I’ve been fortunate enough to win three Grade 1 stakes and campaigned Weemissfrankie, who ran 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup, and Dance With Fate, who won the Blue Grass and then ran in the 2014 Kentucky Derby. Our homebred highlight came in 2015 with multiple Grade 2 winner Ashleyluvssugar whose dam, Ashley’s Folly, earned California-bred Mare of the Year.
What I enjoy most about this industry is the passion of the owners, trainers, and bloodstock agents that surround me. I consider these horseracing partners to be my family and friends and have the utmost loyalty to them. I would like to advance the sport by using my energy, excitement, open mindedness, and innovative ideas to bring more fans and owners to California horseracing. I will bring the drive that’s made me successful in life to the TOC and draw in new owners and fans. Nothing is more enjoyable than sharing those winning moments with family and friends.
Gary Fenton (Chairman)
I grew up in Beverly Hills, CA and where I caught the horse racing bug at an early age attending races at Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Santa Anita, including the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984. I began my career as an entertainment attorney working for the William Morris Agency before moving to media companies such as ATG, Carsey-Werner, and AMC.
In 2005, I transitioned careers to become the Managing Partner of Little Red Feather Racing, now California’s largest syndicate with over 50 horses and 400 active partners. Being the head of syndicate is much like representing actors, writers and television production companies. The client is always the boss and it is our job to create the best racing experience possible for them. LRF campaigned Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Singletary and most recently multiple graded stakes winners Egg Drop, Midnight Miley and Midnight Storm. Since 2010, only four owners have more starts in California than LRF. In addition, I am very proud to be part of an organization that during this same span has brought in more new owners into California racing than anyone or entity. In 2016, LRF launched the industry’s first ever Equity Crowdfunding campaign in an effort to give the avid fan/prospective owner a chance to invest in horse ownership for the first time.
My wife, Katie and I live in Los Angeles with our two amazing sons, Brady and Carter.
I am a semi-retired Silicon Valley entrepreneur. I grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Cornell and Stanford, earning a PhD in electrical engineering. I co-founded four semiconductor companies and most recently served as CEO of wireless technology pioneer CalAmp Corp. and Managing Director of InnoCal Venture Capital.
My wife, Marcia, and I now live in San Diego where we’ve been indulging our love of horse racing as fans, horseplayers and owners. We currently co-own approximately 15 Thoroughbreds in California as well as several on the East Coast and in Australia. We have raced 12 stakes winners including G1 winners Hit the Road and Fault.
I’m all-in on California horse racing and committed to doing my part to improve its long-term viability. I serve as chair of TOC’s Medication and Integrity committee, as a member of the Finance and Wagering committees, on the board of the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation (CTHF) and as TOC’s representative on the board of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). I have worked closely with TOC board and management to help understand and prepare for the new federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The TOC has an important role to play in the development of sensible reforms that improve the safety of our horses and jockeys and the integrity of our sport, in an environment where support for the very existence of racing cannot be taken for granted. I welcome the opportunity to continue to represent you.
Originally from Idaho, my family has been in the horse business for generations. I took out my jockey’s license when I was 16 and rode through high school. I was the assistant for my Dad at Los Alamitos, and I started training there on my own before coming to Santa Anita in 2017 where I started with just one horse. I live with my wife, Michelle, and our two kids, Olivia and Spencer.
I was leading rider of the intermountain region for years and also Chariot Racing World Champion in 2005. I have been breaking colts since I could walk behind one and still do that today in addition to training full time. Before training Thoroughbreds I worked for Robertino Diodoro and Graham Motion. I am very active at the claiming box but also have campaigned Champion Honoroso, G1 winner Ynot Walk and G2 winners Weston and Fall For It.
I think that the small owners, breeders and trainers are under-represented. I want to be there for the small stables, the guy with one claiming horse or the young first-time owner. I hope to bring ideas that make owning fun for a fresh group of people, and I want California racing to thrive by helping maximize the racing product. I would like to be an advocate that can help navigate the new rules that keep the public happy but make sure they are also workable for the horsemen that have to show up and do the work.
Dr. Mike Harrington
Dr. Mike Harrington is a graduate of Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Mike comes from a long line of race trackers following his father, grandfather, and great grandfather into the horse racing business. After retiring from his veterinary practice in 1993, he joined his wife, Patricia, an accomplished trainer in her own right, as a full time trainer. Mike and Patricia reside in Cypress, California.
Mike has a solid reputation as a conditioner of top-notch juveniles. A steady, dedicated, and well-respected horseman, Mike’s success with two-year-olds includes Buck Trout, Swiss Yodeler, and Creative Cause. Mike and Patricia are owner/trainers/breeders.
We have many complex issues we have been working on including racing integrity, track safety, lowering expenses, competition for the gambling dollar, and new sources of income. I think it is important to attract new owners to California, but it is even more important to keep the ones we have. I am an advocate for increased participation purses and redistribution of the purse percentage. Anyone that thinks the solutions are simple should run for the board. I have attended every board meeting and our board has worked very hard. I would like the continued opportunity to help move the industry forward.
I have spent more than 20 years in education as a school counselor (K-adult students), faculty member at the graduate and community college levels, and Director of Lindsay Unified’s Family Resource Center. I founded Shamrock College & Career Planning, which provides pro-bono services for first generation college students. Much of my career brought me in contact with the migrant farmworker communities and families of the Central San Joaquin Valley.
My interaction with horseracing began in 2012 when Hronis Racing owned 19 horses and we spent periodic weekends at the track. Since then, with my husband, Kosta, and his brother, Pete, the world of horseracing has become a significant part of my life. My passion, interest, and love for the sport has grown along with the size of our barn and champions: Accelerate (Breeders Cup Classic and 2018 Older Male Dirt), Stellar Wind (2015 3-Year-Old Filly), Rock Your World, Higher Power, Catalina Cruiser, Cistron, Gift Box, Iotapa, and Lady of Shamrock. Hronis Racing was named Leading California Owner by Money Won in 2017-2020, Leading Owner by Number of Wins in 2018, and Leading Owner by Number of Stakes Wins in 2019. In 2020 we had 23 wins from 168 starts, including three stakes wins.
Since being appointed to fill a vacant TOC board position last Fall, my respect for all the TOC does to advocate for the sport and owners has inspired me to want to continue serving on the board making a constructive difference for the industry. As the current Chair of the TOC Owner Relations Committee, I will survey members for feedback on their interests and needs, and I would like to initiate a regular forum on race days for women to learn about the sport and racehorse ownership.
My wife, Deborah, and I are recent empty-nesters and have lived in Lafayette for twenty years. I had a career in banking prior to establishing the first credit derivative based hedge fund. Formal education included a B.Com, MBA and a CFA. Outside of work, I was a founding board member of the PNOC Foundation, ongoing lead financial partner of the UCSF Radiation Arteriopathy project, and a regular donor to thoroughbred charities including New Vocations and TCA.
Like many, we started in racing by participating in partnerships. We eventually established our own stable, Highland Yard, which currently has six horses in training at Golden Gate Fields with others in Southern California, New York and Ireland. Highland Yard also maintains a small broodmare band in these locations. We are majority partner of River Oak Farms, LLC, a larger scale commercial breeding operation in Kentucky.
Our industry dynamics are circular. Increased field size yields increased handle; increased handle yields larger purses; larger purses yield new owners and larger foal crops. I would focus on these dynamics. Issues to explore include more turf racing and a handicap system rather than an over-reliance on claiming races. I am an unabashed supporter of HISA, in favor of adherence to international medication standards and an enforceable system to deter cheating. Unlike other jurisdictions, we have few alternative racetracks to campaign horses. Northern California is essential. More resources should be allocated to Northern California including Golden State Series races.
Growing up in Chicago, by the time I was 17 I was sneaking into Sportsmen’s Park, and my love for horse racing has been with me ever since. After graduating from Northern Illinois University I spent most of my career working in the sports industry. I started with Footlocker when there were just two stores and helped lead their growth to over 3,000 locations. In 1998 I became one of the four founders of GSI Commerce, which eventually ran over 100 online stores for companies like MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. Based on the success we brought to all four sports leagues, we were able to negotiate unprecedented long term licensing deals which are still in existence today. In 2011 We sold GSI to eBay and I moved to California. Shortly after the move I decided to focus and make a commitment to horse racing.
Today, I have several horses with Little Red Feather and Eclipse Thoroughbreds, and in the last two years I also branched out on my own and now have broodmares, weanlings and a Cal bred yearling.
I fully intend to apply the same passion and vision I’ve had working with the pro sports leagues and NASCAR to California racing and TOC.
I am owner and president of Lovco Construction, Inc., a heavy industrial contractor based in Signal Hill, Calif. I hold a civil and environmental engineering degree from U.C. Irvine. My family roots are in Oklahoma, but I was raised in Lakewood, Calif. and now live in Los Alamitos with my wife, Barbara. I also own and operate Lovacres Ranch in Warner Springs just east of Temecula, encompassing over 500 acres.
I was exposed to horses at a very early age and have always loved them. I began breeding Quarter Horses for the commercial market at a ranch I bought with my father and brother in Waco, Texas. While in Texas, I raised All American Futurity winner Streakin Flyer. After we sold that ranch, we moved our horses to Lovacres, where we now stand several Thoroughbred stallions including Awesome Gambler, Empire Way, Time To Get Even, Grace Upon Grace, Shaman Ghost, Stay Thirsty, Merit Man, and Twice the Appeal. I have raced many of my homebreds in small partnerships and campaigned 2012 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. 1) winner Willa B Awesome. Along with Grade 1 winning Willa B Awesome I have raised and raced MY Fiona (Champion Cal Bred Two year old), Lost Bus (Champion Cal Bred Three year old), and other stakes horses such as Show It and Moe It, Unhitchthetrailer, Time for Angie, Willie B Awesome and many more.
We need to take care of the people who take care of our industry, such as the breeders, the gamblers, and the owners who race the horses. We need to make sure that our fans don’t go elsewhere, such as Las Vegas, because we haven’t catered to them. We need to look at all the options and put together packages that entice new people, especially youngsters, to participate. We also need to keep our focus on the welfare of the horses.
Thoroughbred racing has always been a passion of mine, and I have devoted my life to it. I have been a trainer for over 45 years, training Thoroughbreds in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. I currently maintain a stable of 60 horses at Golden Gate Fields and also race at Los Alamitos, Santa Anita, and Del Mar, and the California Fair Circuit. My wife, Geralyn, and I have a home in Richmond, California and a 40-acre horse farm in Galt, California, where we are actively involved in breeding and raising Thoroughbreds. We currently own 5 broodmares, 5 yearlings and 19 horses of racing age.
I first began my career in horse racing in the mid-1970’s as a groom at Longacres in Washington. In 1976, I became a licensed Thoroughbred trainer. I moved to California in 1990 and have been training full-time here ever since. I am very involved with my horses at the racetrack, training centers and farms. I strongly believe in giving my horses time off from racing and time off to heal from injuries instead of using medications. I have served on the Boards of the CTT, CTHF and currently serve on the TOC.
I love racing in California but am very concerned with the current state of racing here. Our top goal should be to increase horse population by attracting new horse owners and increasing our California breeding operations. If we have horses and owners, we will remain strong. I truly care about the future of racing in California and would like the opportunity to continue to help it improve and ensure it thrives.
I was raised in New Jersey and moved to California with my family in the same year I started UCLA. Most of my adult life was spent in the Los Angeles area, first practicing law and then in the entertainment business. I currently reside in Solana Beach. My wife Cristina loves horse racing. Her late father was the president of the Jockey Club of Rio De Janeiro and also owned a stud farm.
My first entry into the horse business was by buying an interest in a $4,000 Standardbred claiming mare at Hollywood Park. After getting my feet wet and enjoying the game, I spent about 15 years buying Standardbred yearlings at the Tattersalls sales in Lexington and racing them on both coasts. When Hollywood Park closed night racing for Standardbreds, I moved on to Thoroughbreds. I have raced and bred in California since that time.
From 2009 to 2016 I was a Commissioner on the CHRB, and I served as Vice Chairman the last three years.
I am passionate about horse retirement and serve on the board of CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) and as Treasurer of that organization. I also serve on the board of directors of the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation. I reside in Beverly Hills.
Racing as JayEmEss Stable, I am an active owner and breeder whose family has been involved in California Thoroughbred racing for more than five decades. My late father, Mace, was a founding member of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. JayEmEss has campaigned many graded stakes winners, including multiple Grade I winners Urbane, I Ain’t Bluffing, and Include Me Out, Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup winner Rail Trip, 2004 champion juvenile colt Declan’s Moon, multiple Grade 2 winner Arson Squad, and homebred Grade I winner By the Moon.
I was honored to be appointed to the board in January of this year, and I am looking forward to working toward the continued improvement of Thoroughbred racing in California.
I have owned horses for approximately ten years and have had a lot of success with horses such as The Pamplemousse, Turbulent Descent and Mizdirection in that period of time. I have been a fan and student of the game for decades. I enjoy the mornings as much as I enjoy the afternoons at the racetrack.
I would like to combine my experience as a businessman and passion for horseracing to give back to the game I love. I would like to put programs in place to promote larger field sizes and to attract more owners, gamblers and casual fans to racing. I would promote consensus among owners, trainers, gamblers and track management to work together and have a common voice regarding takeout, medication, etc. – with a healthy dialog on these issues and sound reasoning that is explained to all when decisions are made. I believe in transparency to all constituents, using fact-based data to come to decisions.
I was born in 1958, have been married for 33 years, and have two children. I live in Del Mar. I was co-founder and CEO of Provide Commerce/Proflowers. I took the company public on NASDAQ in 2003 at $15 per share, selling the company two years later for $33.75 per share. Previously, I was a Senior Vice President of Operations for ChipSoft/Intuit. I have been involved in many local business organizations and charitable endeavors including UCSD Connect, Casa De Amparo, Naval Special Warfare Foundation and the MS Society-Pacific South Coast Chapter.
Born and bred in Lima, Peru, I moved to California when I was a teenager. I earned a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.B.A from California State University East Bay. My work experience has varied from consulting various start-up companies to help them get off the ground running and being a mortgage broker for numerous institutions. I have resided in Pleasanton with my wife Hedieh for the last 15 years, where we raised two sons.
I have more than 1,000 starts as a thoroughbred owner, mainly in Northern California. I take pride in being able to name my horses to raise Autism awareness. My two most successful horses have been Autism Awareness and Touched By Autism (new stallion), who I purchased as yearlings through the Northern California yearling sales. As of this year, I have also begun a breeding program with our new stallion in California.
My main goal as a TOC director is to strengthen horse racing in California. As a group, we must identify areas needing improvement and implement new ideas to do so. We must have open and ongoing communication as we pursue ways to improve our industry from the bottom up. It is time for new ideas and people to reflect the changes in our market and demographics. We must find ways to welcome and embrace the new generation of owners, fans, and workers to create a sustainable industry. I believe I can have a major impact as a director.