Tom Ludt Named New President at Santa Anita

He will replace George Haines, who is leaving to oversee offtrack wagering network.

Santa Anita Park will soon have a new president in Tom Ludt, the former chairman of the Breeders' Cup, after longtime executive George Haines was selected to head Southern California's offtrack wagering facility network.

Ludt, 49, is to assume his new duties April 7, the Los Angeles Turf Club announced in a statement released March 26. He was hired a year ago at Santa Anita as senior vice president, racing, and gaming by The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita. Ludt served a two-year term as chairman of the Breeders' Cup board from 2011-13, and was president of Vinery Farms from 2004-2013.

Haines was selected by unanimous vote to oversee Southern California Off Track Wagering, Inc., known in the industry as SCOTWINC, which is responsible for the region's brick-and-mortar simulcast locations. In recent years, the simulcast network has expanded to include mini-satellites at card clubs, restaurants, and sports bars, in addition to the traditional racetrack and county fairground sites.

Haines has served as president and general manager of Santa Anita Park since May 2010. Prior to that, he had served in several capacities, including vice president and general manager for LATC from 2004-2010, and as director of pari-mutuel operations from 1984-1999. Haines first came to work at Santa Anita in the track's pari-mutuel department in 1972, and his father was Santa Anita's mutuel manager from 1954-1984.

"We want to sincerely thank George for his many years of dedication and outstanding service here at Santa Anita," said Keith Brackpool, chairman of LATC, in the track's statement. "His selection to lead SCOTWINC by a unanimous vote of his peers is an indication of the high regard with which he is held not only here at Santa Anita, but industry-wide."

Haines is to continue to work with Santa Anita in an advisory capacity, Brackpool said.

"With our expanded live racing calendar now extending through the month of June, Santa Anita is facing both new challenges and new opportunities," Brackpool said. "Tom Ludt has done an excellent job in helping us to transition to a truly modern state-of-the-art racing and entertainment facility over the past year."