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Volume 26 No. 85
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Breeders' Cup Craig Fravel Leaving For Role With Stronach Group

Breeders' Cup President & CEO CRAIG FRAVEL will leave the organization at the conclusion of this year's Breeders' Cup World Championship on Nov. 1-2. Fravel has been appointed as The Stronach Group's CEO of Racing Operations. He will assume management and oversight of all racing operations across Stronach Group owned tracks and training facilities (Breeders' Cup). Fravel had been with the Breeders' Cup since '11 and "worked to bring about a long-term host site strategy." He also "brought the championships" to Keeneland in '15 and Del Mar in '17. Both were "first-time hosts of the event." The Breeders' Cup board is "evaluating its next steps" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/14).

CHANGE WAS NEEDED: In L.A., John Cherwa wrote Fravel's "surprise move is likely being made to stabilize a company trying to find its footing after 30 horse deaths at Santa Anita this year." It is "unclear if this leaves a role" for Stronach Group COO TIM RITVO, who until recently was running Santa Anita. Before working for the Breeders' Cup, Fravel "spent more than 20 years at Del Mar, where he rose to chief operating officer." It is "expected that Fravel will relocate to Southern California, which will allow him a greater role in the running of Santa Anita" (L.A. TIMES, 9/14). The TIMES' Cherwa wrote Ritvo’s "brash style had alienated many people in California and his effectiveness was going to be compromised by the baggage he created during the equine death crisis." So, this is a "sign the optics needed to be changed." This is a "clear rebuke of Ritvo, so how long he stays becomes a question" (L.A. TIMES, 9/14).