After Three Months At Santa Anita, Ritvo Acknowledges ‘The Problems Are Bigger Than I Thought’

In June, The Stronach Group’s chief operating officer, Tim Ritvo, relocated from his regular base at Gulfstream Park to Santa Anita. Ritvo’s plan was to observe and evaluate business operations, with the goal of revitalizing racing at the facility.

In a recent interview with John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times, Ritvo acknowledged that there weren’t any easy fixes for the various racing ‘ailments’ at Santa Anita.

“The problems are bigger than I thought,” Ritvo told the Times. “A lot of problems, but I’m not directing them at individuals or trainers or horsemen. It’s more of a culture.”

“It’s not even directed at Santa Anita, it’s the industry,” Ritvo continued. “More and more people want more quality and less quantity. People want to see the higher-priced horses. The middle-priced horses, you don’t get as much interest in.”

Ritvo does have a few ideas in mind, however, although any changes won’t be in place for the autumn meet which starts this weekend. Instead, changes will be in place for when the winter/spring meet begins Dec. 26.

Two of the items Ritvo is currently focusing on is the horse population at the track and field sizes of the races. He has been considering reducing the number of days raced each week, from the current four days to three.

“We still think right now we’ll be fine,” he said. “But if the field size doesn’t increase, we’ll have to work with the horsemen to find a solution.”

Read more in the Los Angeles Times

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