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Oct 07, 2011

Reorganization announced at Santa Anita Park


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Less than one week into its 2011 fall racing season, Santa Anita Park announced a reorganization of the management team. Racing got underway for the autumn campaign last Friday.

Owned by Stronach Entertainment, a subsidiary of The Stronach Group, company officials announced the merging of departments and the streamlining of finance and operations departments that could affect over 100 full-time and seasonal positions.

"This is the first phase of an initiative to position Santa Anita to compete in today's economic climate and to provide the best possible racing and entertainment product for our customers," said Greg Avioli, CEO and President of Stronach Entertainment. "We are confident that our restructuring will benefit our organization, California horsemen, racing fans and other local stakeholders. We also want to thank those people whose positions are being consolidated or eliminated for their service and work on behalf of Santa Anita."

Santa Anita racing secretary Rick Hammerle will become vice president of racing and racing secretary. Hammerle has been a long time racing official at several tracks including Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate and Del Mar,

"Rick enjoys the respect of the horsemen of Southern California who we rely upon to produce our racing program as well as his peers in the thoroughbred racing industry for his creativity and work ethic," said George Haines, Santa Anita's President and General Manager."

Three departments will be merged, marketing, sales and public relations, under Chris Quinn. The former head of group sales, Quinn has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. Vice president of marketing Allen Gutterman will step down from his position.

"Chris has done an outstanding job over the last few years as an ambassador for Santa Anita to the local business, media and entertainment communities and to generate sponsorships and revenue through creative uses of our facility," Avioli noted. "The timing was right on this as Allen had indicated to me this summer that he was considering other opportunities and was looking to make a change before the end of the year. Allen has done a tremendous job in his six years at Santa Anita and we are grateful for his contributions."

Before assuming his position at Santa Anita Park earlier this year, Avioli served as Breeders' Cup President and Chief Executive Officer,

"In a time of industry consolidation and when more and more handle is being generated off-track, new approaches are needed to move the industry forward," said Avioli. "We are focused on making Santa Anita a better racing facility and, at the same time, expanding its profile as a regional entertainment center offering other amenities in addition to racing and during our off- season."

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