Lakow Hired as Santa Anita Racing Director

Former New York Racing Association official to assist in improving horse inventory.

Mike Lakow, who served for 12 years as director of racing for the New York Racing Association, has been hired as racing director at Santa Anita Park, the Southern California track announced Feb. 28.

Lakow, currently serving as a racing steward at Calder Casino & Race Course, will assist Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita's vice president of racing. The appointment is effective March 24.

"Mike brings a breadth of experience and close personal relationships with horsemen nationwide that will serve us well as we move forward into this era of expanded dates and opportunities here at Santa Anita," said Keith Brackpool, Santa Anita chairman.  "Horse inventory is the backbone of our business and we're confident that Mike is going to be a tremendous asset for us as we continue in our efforts to attract an ever-diverse and varied equine population to one of America's finest racing venues."

A Philadelphia native, Lakow, 57, has more than 30 years of experience in the racing industry, having worked at tracks in New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Kentucky, Florida, and Dubai, U.A.E.

"Thoroughbred racing is my passion and I am grateful the Stronach Group and Santa Anita Park have offered me the privilege to be part of their elite racing program," said Lakow.

Following his tenure with NYRA, Lakow served as general manager for John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., for five years. He was then chosen to head New York's Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in Saratoga Springs. Lakow was hired as an association steward by Calder last April.

Santa Anita's current winter/spring meeting will run through April 20. It will be followed by a spring/summer stand to run from April 25 to June 29.