Entertainment industry figures Tom Mankiewicz and Merv Griffin have been appointed to the board of the Thoroughbred Owners of California to fill two unexpired terms. Griffin is well known as a TV personality, media mogul, and host of "The Merv Griffin Show." As a TV innovator, Griffin created the two most popular game shows in television syndication history, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" Raised in San Mateo, where his family enjoyed attending the races at Bay Meadows, Griffin was privileged to see Seabiscuit run. He served on the board of directors of Hollywood Park during Marge Everett's tenure, and he owns Teleview Racing Patrol, a closed-circuit television company used at several racetracks. His stable includes stakes winners Cee's Irish and Skipaslew and turf specialist The Griff. His farm in the desert community of La Quinta is home to more than 50 Thoroughbreds. Mankiewicz has had a multi-faceted and successful career as a screenwriter, producer, and director. He co-wrote and directed the two-hour pilot for the popular TV series Hart to Hart, as well as directing 12 of its episodes. He directed and co-authored the screenplay for the highly successful box office hit, Dragnet. A former member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mankiewicz currently serves as a director of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and chairman of the board of trustees of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.
As a horse owner, Mankiewicz campaigned the successful Victory Encounter, winner of the El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita and Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. He bought his first horse in the early 1980s with actor Robert Wagner, and has owned several in partnership with Jerry Moss. He currently has four horses in training with John Sadler.