The racetrack at California Exposition and State Fair has been renamed for the late Kirk Breed, who served as executive director of the state horse racing board and was formerly general manager of the state fair and a board member.
The California Legislature passed a resolution, chaptered on Aug. 7, the first anniversary of his death, renaming the Cal Expo track the "Kirk Breed Memorial Race Track."
A memorial plaque in honor of Breed will be placed on the Cal Expo racetrack grounds.
Breed served as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board from 2008 until his death due to cancer at the age of 73. He was appointed general manager at Cal Expo during the first term of Gov. Jerry Brown in 1979, and was credited with turning around the event's financial fortunes during lean times. He later became a lobbyist on behalf or the racing industry and also served for eight years on the Cal Expo board of directors.
The Oklahoma native loved horses and worked tirelessly to reduce equine racetrack fatalities and improve track safety for horses and jockeys.
His widow, Mary Ann, told the Sacramento Bee, "His identity was connected to that. He would be so humbled by the fact that the state of California would recognize him in this way, because he never thought about how it could benefit him."
Harris Auerbach, vice chairman of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said in a Twitter message: "A very nice and fitting tribute."