Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Tabs Lakow

Longtime racing and breeding executive to take over as chief executive officer.

Michael Lakow will take over as the chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, it was announced Dec. 7.

Lakow has been part of the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for more than 35 years. He has served the industry from New York to Dubai in a number of capacities and was director of racing at the New York Racing Association for 12 years. From 2005 to 2010, Lakow managed administrative operations for Hill ‘n' Dale Farms, a leading Kentucky stallion breeding farm, sales consignor, and boarding farm.

“I am looking forward to putting all of my experience in the racing and breeding industry to work on behalf of the horses, and I would like to thank the TRF board for putting their trust in me,” Lakow said in a press release. “I have long admired TRF's innovative programs and their mission as a lifetime retirement home for retired racehorses. One of my goals will be to substantially expand TRF’s prison-based farms.” 

Lakow, who was elected to the TRF's board of directors last month, says he plans to work from the TRF’s office in Saratoga Springs.

Rob Hinkle, who will be leaving the CEO’s position, has been elected to the TRF board, it was also announced.

“We are grateful to Rob for coming on board at a critical time,” said John Moore, chairman of TRF's executive committee.  “The condition of the TRF herd is excellent and our relationships with satellite farms and prisons have never been better.”

Financial problems associated with providing care to some 1,200 retired horses that are housed at satellite farms under contract with TRF surfaced earlier this year following publication in the New York Times of an article that described some of the horses as being in poor condition. That report came as the TRF was undertaking a comprehensive veterinary inspection of its herd.