Dwight Manley has announced his resignation as the Jockey's Guild national manager, it was announced Sept. 5, a position expected to be filled by industry veteran Terry Meyocks.
Manley in mid-July notified the Guild’s board of his intention to leave by Oct.1, but the announcement was not immediately made public to give the board time to begin searching for a replacement, a news release said.
“My decision to resign was not an easy one, but a necessary one," Manley said in the release. "I’m a single father of two children, and I cannot commit the time that the Jockeys’ Guild deserves from its national manager and fulfill my obligations to my family.”
Manley did not immediately return a call seeking additional comment.
Meyocks, who has served in several executive roles in the racing industry, declined to comment. But several industry sources pegged the former president of the New York Racing Association as the new Guild national manager.
Meyocks and former Equibase president Philip O’Hara in June launched Meyocks and O’Hara Racing Enterprises, a Kentucky-based management firm.
Guild-affiliated attorney Tom Kennedy, who is legal counsel for the organization, declined to name the successor to Manley, but said a new national manager would be announced Sept. 6.
"The thinking is that it was better for the Guild to make the announcement on the following day," Kennedy said. "We received enough notice from Mr. Manley that we were able to review some options and make a determination of who we thought would best serve as national manager. And we are very pleased that we are going to have someone to announce tomorrow.
"The Guild is actively working to see that we have a smooth transition."
Manley in July 2006 replaced Wayne Gertmenian, who eight months earlier was ousted from his position after discrepancies in the organization's finances revealed that the Guild was nearly bankrupt. A federal lawsuit brought by the Guild against Gertmenian was recently dismissed, but a similar legal action is scheduled to go to trial in October in a California state court.
Kennedy said the federal dismissal had nothing to do with Manley's exit from the Guild, noting the resignation notice was submitted weeks before the judge's ruling.
A sports agent, real estate developer and rare coin collector, Manley served without compensation and loaned the organization $500,000 to help it avoid bankruptcy, the release said.
“Mr. Manley became national manager at a time of crisis for our organization," said Johnny Velazquez, chairman of the Guild’s board, in the release. "He saved the Guild. Under his leadership, we have now stabilized our finances. We appreciate all of his efforts and his achievements as our leader in dealing with the industry and achieving a sound financial basis for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund."
Manley said in the release that his "decision to resign was one of the most difficult I’ve ever made. I truly feel honored to have been given the privilege to work with the board and the entire Guild membership. I firmly believe that now is the time for the Guild to have a more ‘traditional’ national manager; someone who is salaried, works out of the Guild’s office and has the ability to devote 100 percent of their time to the Guild’s future.”