Morris to Leave Golden Gate Fields for TOC

Track executive to become new president of the owners organization in two months.

Joe Morris will step down as general manager of Golden Gate Fields to become president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, The Stronach Group announced April 17.

Morris will remain in his post at the San Francisco Bay Area track, which is owned by The Stronach Group, until the conclusion of the current meet June 16.

Formerly the senior vice president for the NTRA Advantage purchasing program, Morris replaced Robert Hartman at Golden Gate Fields in October 2011.

"I have enjoyed my time working with The Stronach Group and am very proud of my team's accomplishments," said Morris in a statement. "Golden Gate Fields' meet is up this racing season and I look forward to seeing the track's continued success. It is an exciting time to be joining the TOC and I look forward to working with the TOC Board, tackling the important issues facing California racing."

Keith Brackpool, chairman of Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields for TSG, said: "While we are sorry to lose someone of Joe's stature, we understand and respect his interest in participating more directly in the ongoing restructuring of our industry in California. Joe has been a valuable member of the Stronach Group and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors with the TOC."

TOC Board Chairman Mike Pegram said, "The TOC is very excited that Joe Morris has accepted the position of president of the TOC. Joe has been a major contributor to California racing since his arrival at Golden Gate Fields. We want to thank The Stronach Group for working with us to make Joe's transition a seamless one."

Morris was also The Stronach Group's vice president of operations and sales before moving to Golden Gate. He replaces Lou Raffetto, who resigned as president of the TOC Feb. 28.