Batchelder Replacing Strauss as DMTC Chairman

The 94-year-old ex-statesman leaves Del Mar role after leading board for 12 years.

Robert S. Strauss, who has headed the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's board of directors as its chairman for the past 12 years, announced Aug. 30 that he is stepping down, effective immediately.

The 94-year-old Strauss is an international statesman who has served as a presidential cabinet member and is one of the nation's top lawyers.

David H. Batchelder, 63, a successful businessman and racehorse owner who has been a board member for the past five years, is to replace Strauss. He was selected chairman by unanimous vote of the nine-member DMTC board convened at a meeting at the track Aug. 30.

Strauss, who has served on the DMTC board since 1988, has agreed to stay involved as both a director and chairman emeritus. He said he has treasured his association with his favorite racetrack.

"Del Mar is just a wonderful place to be each summer and it has been my great joy to be involved with it over these many years," he said.

Strauss lives primarily in Washington, D.C., but takes up residence at his oceanfront home in Del Mar each summer. He plans on continuing those arrangements into the future.

Batchelder is co-founder and principal of Relational Investors, a $6 billion investment fund, as well as a past chairman or board member on 11 public companies, several of them on the Fortune 500 list. He said he was honored to be selected to fill the role of DMTC chairman.

"Del Mar sets the standard for all of horse racing with its incredible location and facility, combined with the passion of its fans and the integrity of its leadership," Batchelder said. "I also would like to add my personal thanks to Mr. Strauss for his leadership as our chairman."

Batchelder, who lives in Del Mar, dabbled in racehorse ownership initially with the partnership group West Point Thoroughbreds. He and his wife, Sylvia, who is a dressage rider, have an interest in 12 Thoroughbreds overseen by family friend Jeff Bloom of the Bloom Racing Stable.