For the first time in the 80-year history of Santa Anita Park there will be no one from the Haines family working at the horse race track with the announcement that George Haines is leaving as President to head Southern California Off Track Wagering, Incorporated (SCOTWINC).
Tom Ludt has been appointed Santa Anita Park President effective April 7, 2014. Ludt, who was hired a year ago as Senior Vice President, Racing & Gaming—Stronach Group, has a breadth of experience in the racing industry that includes a two-year term as Chairman of the Breeders’ Cup Board (2011-2013) and he served as President of Vinery Farms from 2004-2013.
Haines has spent his entire career at the track, following in the footsteps of his father who started working there in 1935, just a few months after it opened on Christmas Day of 1934.
The Los Angeles Turf Club Inc., (LATC), doing business under the name of Santa Anita Park, selected Haines by a unanimous vote to head SCOTWINC, an organization that oversees all off-track wagering at brick and mortar simulcast locations in Southern California.
Haines has served as President and General Manager of Santa Anita Park since May of 2010, and prior to that, he had served in several capacities, including LATC’s Vice President and General Manager from 2004-2010 and as Director of Pari-Mutuel Operations from 1984-1999. Haines first came to work at Santa Anita in the track’s Pari-Mutuel Department in 1972, and his father was Santa Anita’s Mutuel Manager from 1954-1984.
“We want to sincerely thank George for his many years of dedication and outstanding service here at Santa Anita,” said Keith Brackpool, Chairman, LATC. “His selection to lead SCOTWINC by a unanimous vote of his peers is an indication of the high regard with which he is held not only here at Santa Anita, but industry-wide. We are also gratified that George has agreed to continue to serve us in an advisory capacity.
“With our expanded live racing calendar now extending through the month of June, Santa Anita is facing both new challenges and new opportunities. Tom Ludt has done an excellent job in helping us to transition to a truly modern, state of the art racing and entertainment facility over the past year.