Mike Lakow, who was relieved of his duties as racing secretary in a July shake-up of the New York Racing Association, has been named general manager of John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.
Lakow, who served as racing secretary at Belmont Park and Aqueduct for 10 years and at Saratoga Race Course for eight seasons, received a groundswell of support from horsemen who were surprised by his dismissal last month.
"Two things stood out for me," said Sikura. "One, the way respected horsemen and true professionals rallied behind him and spoke up for his abilities, and two, I think his skills are completely portable. He dealt with horses and horsemen, and all those horses, if they're successful, will be coming to a breeding farm. So recognition of those horses, their values, and what they've accomplished is key, and Mike knows as much or more about that than anybody. Dealing with people in a first-class manner, confronting problems, and being organized apply here as they do at the racetrack."
"The industry starts at the farms," said Lakow. "I followed the farms and breeding when I first got into the industry. This is a change of pace for me, but it's an unbelievable opportunity. Hill 'n' Dale is a beautiful farm and John has a reputation for integrity and fairness--things I pride myself on. I think we'll make a good team."
Among Lakow's duties at Hill 'n' Dale will be coordinating, organizing, and being in charge of all office activities and personnel. He will be active in the recruitment of stallion prospects and serve as a liaison between the farm and trainers and owners.
Lakow is scheduled to begin his duties Aug. 22.