Martin Panza

Martin Panza

Hollywood Park Photo

Panza Moving to NYRA, According to Reports

Longtime racing executive at Hollywood Park expected to assume vacant post.

Martin Panza, longtime racing executive at Betfair Hollywood Park, is moving to the New York Racing Association, according to reports, although officials have so far refused to confirm the hire.

The New York Daily News, citing "several sources," reported that the NYRA has selected the 50-year-old Panza to become its vice president of racing, although racing officials there refused to comment and would not say when, or if, an official announcement would be forthcoming.

A source with knowledge of the NYRA said Panza has accepted the job.

Panza, the vice president of racing at Hollywood, did not return a phone call seeking a response. Jack Liebau, Hollywood's president, also reserved comment.

At NYRA, Panza would be the second in charge among upper racing management, behind only NYRA president and CEO Christopher Kay, who was hired in July.

Panza has been Hollywood's racing secretary since 1994 and has held the vice president role in recent years. The track will be shuttered for racing after the conclusion of its fall meet Dec. 22.

It is not known when Panza will assume his new role. According to the Daily News, he edged out top former racing executives Bill Murphy and Lou Raffetto for the position.

Kay replaced Charles Hayward, who was fired in May 2012 following a takeout scandal, where NYRA overcharged bettors for over a year. Ellen McClain served as the interim president and CEO before resigning in April.

Panza was instrumental in the development of Hollywood's autumn turf festival and responsible for creating the American Oaks, a grass race for 3-year-old fillies in 2002 that became a grade I event two years later. He has served on the American Graded Stakes Committee as well, and chaired a committee of racing secretaries that helped expand the Breeders’ Cup in 2008.