Friday, October 28th, 2016 ( 1 year ago )
Officials Named for Del Mar's 2016 Fall Racing Meet
Del Mar will host its third consecutive fall meeting beginning on Friday, November 11 with its usual stellar staff of racing officials signed on to oversee the sport during its “Bing Crosby Season.” The 15-day session will run through Sunday, December 4.
Heading the crew of approximately 100 individuals that helm the shore oval is Del Mar executive vice president for racing and industry relations Tom Robbins, now in his 36th year on the track’s executive roles. He is ably assisted by racing secretary David Jerkens, who for the past three years has run the track’s racing office and handled the nuts and bolts of putting together the daily racing cards.
Jerkens’ key aides are assistant racing secretary Zachary Soto, serving his 26th year at the track, along with Chris Merz, working his second autumn meet as stakes coordinator. Other experienced staffers on board for the stand include stable superintendents Dennis Sparks, Tom Fator and Jackie Lynn; jockey room clerk of scales Charles McCaul and his assistant, Matt Nichols, as well as clerk of course Dawn Schmid.
The track’s board of stewards will consist of Scott Chaney (in his 11th year at Del Mar), Kim Sawyer (in her eighth) and Grant Baker (his third).
Placing judges will be Robert Moreno and Merry Young, while Sue Brent will alternate as both a placing and patrol judge. Heather Correa also will serve as a patrol judge and Karen Denovel will work as both a paddock and patrol judge.
The track’s veterinarian set will be made up of Dr. Dana Stead, D.V.M., working directly for Del Mar; along with Dr. Tim Grande, D.V.M., and Dr. Barrie Grant, D.V.M., handling the California Horse Racing Board responsibilities.
Other officials for the four-week meet include Bridget Crawford, paymaster of purses; Dianne Piper, horse identifier; Russell Hudak, morning line maker; John Lies, official timer, and Victor Tovar, horseshoe identifier.
Seventeen-year-veteran Leif Dickinson once again will fill the role of the track’s turf and landscape superintendent, while Steven Wood will complete his first full season as its main track superintendent after having worked for more than 20 years in various capacities on the track’s maintenance crews. Jay Slender will continue as Del Mar’s starter for the third year.
The track’s Veterans Day (November 11) opening will be highlighted by a salute to all who have served – or who currently are serving -- in the military. The Friday start will trigger a three-day weekend of racing, followed by three weeks of Thursday-through-Sunday programs. First post daily will be 12:30 p.m. for all days with the exception of one – Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24, when there will be an 11 a.m. start and a 2:30 p.m. conclusion to the day, allowing plenty of time for fans to make turkey dinner plans.