Joe Morris resigns from Stronach Group

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Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:17 am

Executive was responsible for overseeing operations at Santa Anita and Golden Gate.
Joe Morris, who was hired by The Stronach Group as the senior vice president of West Coast operations in 2015, resigned Oct. 12 according to an announcement from the company.

The Stronach Group's chief operating officer, Tim Ritvo, declined to comment about the reason or reasons why Morris, who oversaw operations at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, resigned.

Ritvo, who arrived at Santa Anita earlier in the year with promises to shake up The Stronach Group's California operations in an effort to improve what he felt were lacking results, did however comment on the future.

"Fresh ideas should always be welcome in the industry," Ritvo said. "California racing, in our opinion, wasn't going in the right direction, but that was happening long before Joe was here.

"Obviously looking at things in new ways, with fresh sets of eyes, would be a good idea. And that's not a knock on Joe. That's something we need to do."

Morris was unavailable for comment Thursday, but did provide a statement through a press release from Santa Anita.

"At this time of my life, it's going to be good to get back to my farm in Lexington," Morris said in the press release of his small breeding farm in Lexington. "My wife has been running the operation back there and my family has been spread over several thousand miles for quite a few years now, and we're looking forward to spending more time together in a place we all love."

Morris previously served as the general manager at Golden Gate in 2011-13 and left that job to become the president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California before he returned to The Stronach Group in 2015.

The most recent issue that faced Morris and Santa Anita came during the spring, when multiple Thursday cards could not be filled at the Southern California track because of lack of entries. It was a topic Ritvo addressed almost immediately upon his arrival in Southern California.

BALAN: Santa Anita Cancels Second Thursday Card of Season

"We want to look at every aspect of it, even ourselves," Ritvo said in June. "Are we doing the right thing? Are we laying out the card properly? We'll look at that first, and obviously investigate what the horsemen are doing with their horses and why they're not participating.

"The game evolves and changes, and we can't keep doing the same things we were doing."

Ritvo said there is no replacement for Morris' position as of Thursday, but added, "Everything will be evaluated. We will look strongly at who is doing what within the company first regarding succession."
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...

And a Queen named Beholder
Posts: 9879
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:26 pm

"Effective Immediately?" ... mediately/
That doesn't sound like a friendly parting.
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