The award, presented annually, recognizes outstanding contributions and service in the Thoroughbred racing industry. The recipient is chosen by TOC’s board chairman. The current chair, Marsha Naify, will make the presentation to Harris following the second race.
One of the more visible and outspoken supporters of California racing and breeding, Harris is being honored for his longtime service on racing industry boards to his sustained investment in California’s Thoroughbred programs. He has served on the California Horse Racing Board since 2000, including two terms as chairman in 2004 and 2005. He is currently the CHRB's vice chairman.
He has also served on boards of nearly every Thoroughbred organization in the state, and beyond, including TOC, California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, Breeders’ Cup, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Board, Center for Equine Health/UC Davis Advisory Board, Race Track Chaplaincy of America and The Jockey Club.
Harris has had a lifelong love for horse racing, owning Thoroughbreds since 1958. Also a prominent California breeder, he has bred and raised five two-time Valkyr Trophy winners: Alphabet Kisses, Moscow Burning, Super High, Work the Crowd, and Soviet Problem. A huge proponent of the state’s breeding industry, Harris was involved in the structuring of California’s lucrative breeders’ incentive program in the early 1970s.