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Axelrod new USTA chairman

March 17, 2007

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The annual meeting of the board of directors of the US Trotting Association got underway in Columbus Saturday and already the organization has a new chairman, Ivan Axelrod of California, who defeated incumbent Joe Faraldo in a paper-ballot election.

Faraldo was one of several directors who were not in attendance at the opening session because storms on the East Coast caused cancellation of their flights.

The rest of the association’s officers continue in their positions: Phil Langley (president), Eric Sharbaugh (executive vice president), Bob Sidley (treasurer), Russell Williams (vice chairman) and Barbara Brooks (secretary).

Axelrod is a longtime harness horse owner in California. He is the CEO of Provident Financial Management, specializing in managing the financial affairs of high net-worth individuals and members of the entertainment and sports industries. He is also on the board of directors of Sacramento Harness Association.

Two committee meetings were also held Saturday afternoon: Pari-Mutuel and Driver/Trainer. Both committees considered rule changes.

Also, the Pari-Mutuel Committee was advised that the USTA’s new eTrack system, which will replace the current system clerks of the course use to post race results to the USTA, will be officially rolled out on April 3. The USTA has been doing testing on the system with Lebanon Raceway and Northfield Park.

In addition, USTA president Langley announced that the organization is studying a revised formula for track dues, which are presently based on purses. He said the particulars of a revision have not yet been formulated, but said the reason for the study is because more tracks are now having purses subsidized by slots revenues. He revealed that under the present dues formula, Yonkers Raceway will pay triple what’s it has been paying.

Langley’s news prompted the following comment from Jim Boese of Harrington Raceway: “I think the new tracks with slots should have to pay triple for 10 years, like we did.”

John Marshall, vice president and general manager of The Meadows, asked if track dues could be shared by track operators and local horsemen’s associations. Langley explained to Marshall, who took his position at The Meadows just last year, that horsemen pay for their USTA services through individual memberships and fees for registrations, eligibilities, and transfers, and that tracks receive such services as the software program eTrack in exchange for their dues.

The USTA meeting continues throughout the day on Sunday and concludes Monday morning.
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