Martin Panza

Martin Panza

Hollywood Park Photo

NYRA Confirms Hiring of Panza to Head Racing

Longtime California racing director to join NYRA at the end of November.

The New York Racing Association Oct. 20 confirmed the widely reported hiring of Martin Panza as senior vice president of racing operations.

Panza, who was serving as vice president of racing and was racing secretary at Betfair Hollywood Park since 1994, will begin working for NYRA at the end of November, according to a release. The final meet at soon-to-be shuttered Hollywood Park in California ends Dec. 22.

Panza will report to Chris Kay, who earlier this year was hired as president and chief executive officer. NYRA had announced it planned to hire someone to oversee racing operations.

"Martin will bring skills that are so important as we strive to continuously improve our quality of racing," Kay said in a statement. "He will also work closely with New York State's equine medical director to promote safety."

Panza served two terms on the American Graded Stakes Committee and currently is on the Breeders' Cup Selection Committee, the Dubai World Cup Selection Committee, and the North American Ratings Committee for The Jockey Club.

"This is a very significant step in the continuing effort to successfully reorganize the New York Racing Association," said Dr. David Skorton, chairman of the NYRA Reorganization Board. "Martin is a proven leader with more than 25 years' experience."

Panza said he will "work hard to present great racing and to create innovative ways to further increase the fan base."