Chris Dragone has been named executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Dragone, who started in his new position Oct. 2., was previously the senior vice president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.
"There are so many exciting things that are happening right now, and I think the future is very positive for the New York breeding industry," Dragone said. "It is definitely a change after being on the administrative side of the racing business for the last 16-17 years, but the family has been in the breeding business for about 35."
The impending arrival of slots at Aqueduct is one thing Dragone plans to monitor.
"It is obviously something we are keeping an eye on," he said. "We are going to continue to cooperate and partner with the various entities that support the industry and participate in continuing the success of Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the state."
Dragone's family owns December Hill Farm in New Jersey, and his father, Allan, who died in August, was a former New York Racing Association chairman. Dragone hopes to start a farm in New York as well.
"I had been doing a lot of traveling and had always wanted to establish a farm in New York and work with the breeding side," Dragone said of his decision to take the position. "We have some mares in Kentucky, but we are going to move one or two up here as well and hopefully, slowly find a piece of land and take it from there."
Dragone replaces Dennis Brida, who accepted a position this summer as the executive vice president of racing operations and industry relations for Empire Racing Associates.