Longtime Meadowlands director of track maintenance Gary Wolff is leaving the historic harness racing facility to become the new track superintendent at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Wolff will be replaced by Ryan Napierala, effective Feb. 8, who comes to the Meadowlands from White Birch Farm in Allentown, N.J.
Wolff has served in his position at the Meadowlands since 2008. During that time, he oversaw the maintenance of the Meadowlands harness and Thoroughbred surfaces as well as the backstretch. Prior to his arrival at the Meadowlands, he served as the track superintendent at Freehold Raceway, Garden State Park, and Buffalo Raceway.
The move will be a homecoming of sorts for Wolff who previously worked at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs.
"Gary will be sorely missed and we cannot thank him enough for his expertise, dedication, and friendship to everyone here at the Meadowlands," said Meadowlands CEO and general manager Jason M. Settlemoir.
"I am very thankful to Jason and Jeff Gural for giving me the opportunity at the Meadowlands and it truly has been a pleasure working with the whole team at the Meadowlands for all of these years," said Wolff. "While I will miss New Jersey, I am looking forward to the opportunity at Hoosier Park and getting back to the Midwest."
Napierala comes to the Meadowlands after serving as racetrack manager at White Birch Farm and serving in various other maintenance positions at several training centers. He has worked with Wolff for the past several weeks to ensure a smooth transition.
"Gary Wolff is one of the best, and I have big shoes to fill," said Napierala. "I was taught by my dad to take pride in what I do and learned to be great by his example, and I know that knowledge will show. I'm excited and thankful for the opportunity that Jeff and Jason are giving me, and will not disappoint."
"Ryan comes highly recommended from some of the top trainers in the sport that train at White Birch and we look forward to working with him," added Settlemoir.
Wolff will be honored in a winner's circle ceremony during Saturday night's racing program at the Meadowlands. (Meadowlands)