Baedeker to Assume CHRB Director Post Feb. 3

New executive director says he wants to bring industry together to promote growth.

Rick Baedeker will begin work Feb. 3 as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board, the agency announced Jan. 30.

State racing commissioners selected Baedeker for the executive position at the monthly CHRB meeting Jan. 16.

"Speaking for the entire board, we're very happy that Rick will soon be our executive director," said board chairman Chuck Winner. "He brings a wealth of racing knowledge and creativity along with his management skills that will help lead our industry as we move forward. Rick will be working alongside Jackie Wagner, our assistant executive director, who has been doing a wonderful job guiding the CHRB during the last several months."

"I cannot imagine more meaningful work at a more important time," said Baedeker. "My first priority will always be to ensure a clean and fair game for the player and a safe sport for the horse and rider. The second will be to facilitate change. With the board's blessing, I will try to bring the segments of the industry together that still believe we can achieve growth. Let's put together a positive plan to turn things around. I'm eager to get going and I thank the board for the opportunity."

Baedeker has a long history in horse racing, dating back to 1974 when he worked as a handicapper alongside his father and his older brother for Baedeker's Guide and Daily Report, a racing service publication formed in 1938.

He entered racetrack management in 1989 as director of marketing and then general manager of The Woodlands in Kansas City, Kansas. Baedeker has held positions with Hollywood Park, the National Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Television Games Network. He also served as president of Hollywood Park from 1999 to 2005, while the Inglewood racetrack was owned by Churchill Downs Inc.

In recent years, Baedeker served as manager for mini-satellite development with Southern California Off-Track Wagering Inc., and was a consultant for Sportech, the gaming technology company currently providing totalizator services to all California racetracks.