Schwartz to serve as TOC president
By Steve Andersen
ARCADIA, Calif. - Steve Schwartz, an attorney with an extensive background in racing as a former trainer and an active owner and breeder, has accepted the position of president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
The appointment was announced Friday.
Schwartz, 59, had been in discussions with TOC officials about the position in recent months, following the departure of Drew Couto from the position in late June.
The TOC is the state's official representative of owners, working with racetracks on issues such as purse negotiations as well as legislative and regulatory matters.
Schwartz, who will begin his new position Nov. 15, joins the TOC at a time when California racing is facing a decline in horse ownership because of a poor economy and dwindling purses due to lower handle.
"When I heard that Drew was leaving, it spurred my interest and I saw an opportunity to be part of solutions and get involved at a time when the game needs some fresh thinking," Schwartz said Friday morning.
"I feel that the organization is the one organization that's able to make meaningful positive changes to improve our game."
Schwartz trained a small stable until 2001, including two-time 1999 stakes winner Mountain Medley. In recent years, Schwartz has represented horsemen occasionally in hearings for medication violations with track stewards.
Schwartz said Friday he currently owns six horses and is a breeder. He said he has been "semi-retired" for 14 months from a law practice, which focuses on equine veterinary issues.
According to a statement issued by the TOC, Schwartz has agreed to a one-year contract with a $175,000 salary. He will be based at the TOC's offices at Santa Anita.
"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."
-- Thomas Jefferson