SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Friday, August 8, 2014) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced four new appointees to the organization’s Board of Directors, unanimously elected at this morning’s quarterly board meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The four new appointees to the board are: Judy Wagner, the 2001 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) winner and 13-time NHC qualifier; Michael Rogers, president of the racing division of The Stronach Group; Scott Wells, president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) and president and general manager of Remington Park and Lone Star Park for Global Gaming Solutions; and Joe Morris, representing the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC).
“The addition of these new board members will undoubtedly strengthen the NTRA,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “These appointments will provide direct representation to major constituencies that not only support NTRA programs but which also have a vested interest in a strong and vibrant Thoroughbred industry. In particular, Judy Wagner’s appointment recognizes the important role horseplayers have in our industry, not just as fans or spectators like many other sports, but as participants that fuel every aspect of our game with their wagering dollars.”
Wagner’s appointment is believed to mark the first time a horseplayer has been named to the board of a broad-based national Thoroughbred organization. Thousands of horseplayers participate in NTRA programs. A New Orleans resident, Wagner is a member of the Louisiana State Racing Commission and former horse owner. In addition to being one of the NHC’s all-time appearance leaders and the only female to win an Eclipse Award as Handicapper of the Year, she has been a member of the NHC Tour since its inception and finished second in the 2009 Tour behind her husband, Bryan Wagner.
Rogers was named president of the racing division of The Stronach Group in 2012 and has 30 years of experience in the racing industry. The Stronach Group is among the largest supporters of NTRA programs and annually hosts the Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park & Casino. The Stronach Group also owns and operates Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, the award-winning Adena Springs racing and breeding operation, AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and Monarch Content Management. The Stronach Group also owns XpressBet, one of the world’s leading advance deposit wagering companies. The Stronach Group is a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network.
Wells is the current president of the TRA, a trade association representing 42 Thoroughbred racetracks, 40 of which participate in NTRA programs. Wells is a former trainer who also served as an assistant to Hall of Famer trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg before transitioning to the front side. In 1990, Wells began work at Remington Park in the press box. By 1993, he became assistant general manager at Hollywood Park and soon after served as general manager of Ruidoso Downs. From 1999 to 2005, while working for Lone Star Park, Wells was instrumental in the reopening of the Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City and oversaw the reopening of Maroñas, the national racetrack of Uruguay. Wells returned to Remington Park in 2005 and led the track through construction of a casino and eventually through the transition to new ownership when Remington Park was acquired by Global Gaming.
Morris, who was named TOC President in April 2013, replaces Pablo Suarez as the TOC representative on the NTRA Board. Morris previously worked at Golden Gate Fields, where since 2011 he was General Manager as well as Vice President of Sales and Operations for track owner, The Stronach Group. He has a wealth of racing experience including seven years with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), where he was president of Group Purchasing and Sponsorships. He also spent three years as publisher of Thoroughbred Times.
Other individuals serving on the 13-member NTRA Board of Directors are Reynolds Bell (Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association), Robert Clay (The Jockey Club), Craig Dado (Del Mar Thoroughbred Club), Dennis Drazin (Monmouth Park), Alan Foreman (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Craig Fravel (Breeders’ Cup Limited), Chris Kay (The New York Racing Association), William Thomason (Keeneland Association) and Waldrop (President and CEO of the NTRA).
About the NTRA
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and HORSE PAC, a federal political action committee. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).