INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 20, 2013)—Dan Eidson, who has been involved in thoroughbred racing in various capacities for over 40 years, has been named racing secretary for the upcoming Autumn meet at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 27-day season – the final meet in the historic track’s history -begins Thursday, Nov. 7 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 22.
Most recently the stakes coordinator and assistant racing secretary at Betfair Hollywood Park, Eidson, 63, succeeds Martin Panza, who was hired as the Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for the New York Racing Association (NYRA).
“We have the utmost confidence Dan will do a great job following in Martin’s footsteps,’’ said Betfair Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “While we are sorry to lose Martin, we congratulate NYRA on a superb hire.’’
A former groom for trainers Cecil Jolly and Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, Eidson worked as an assistant for several years to trainer Ed Gregson, including 1982 when the stable won the Kentucky Derby with Gato Del Sol.
After training briefly on his own, Eidson retired from training, eventually becoming assistant racing secretary to Bob Umphrey at Golden Gate Fields.
When Umphrey left Northern California for Florida, Eidson took over as racing secretary at Golden Gate in 1985, holding the position until 2000.
After a one-year stint as racing secretary at Delaware Park, Eidson became Panza’s assistant and stakes coordinator in 2002.
“I really appreciate the confidence that both (Liebau) and (general manager) Eual (Wyatt, Jr.) have shown in me,’’ said Eidson. “I’ve learned from one of the best, so I’m not lacking in confidence going into this final meet.
“I’ve always loved Hollywood Park, so I feel both honored and sad to be in the position to close things out.
“I’m extremely proud and happy for Martin. We’ve had a great friendship and working relationship and I couldn’t be more tickled for him. He could not be more deserving of the opportunity.’’
Panza, 50, will remain vice president-racing at Betfair Hollywood Park until he assumes his position with NYRA near the end of November.
The racing secretary and vice president-racing at Hollywood Park since 1994, Panza introduced the popular American Oaks, a grassy Grade I for 3-year-old fillies run annually since 2002 during the Spring/Summer meet, was responsible for the creation of the $1 million guaranteed Pick Six in 1998 and several other innovations.
“Hollywood Park has been a huge part of my life,’’ said Panza. “I’ve worked with and for a lot of great people during my time here. While I am sad that Hollywood Park is closing, I am looking forward to the opportunity with NYRA.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Dan and I know he’s going to do an excellent job.’’
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