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Rick Hammerle said to be out at Santa Anita

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Rick Hammerle has been dismissed as racing secretary at Santa Anita, several people with knowledge of the situation said on Friday morning.

The decision was made less than a month before Santa Anita begins its signature six-month winter-spring meeting on Dec. 26.

Hammerle was not immediately available for comment. Tim Ritvo, the chief operating officer of the track’s parent company, The Stronach Group, did not return a phone call or a text message for comment on Friday morning. Ritvo has taken an active role in the day-to-day operations of Santa Anita in the last 18 months.

It was not clear on Friday morning who will direct Santa Anita’s racing department for the upcoming meeting. The track has yet to publish its first condition book detailing the proposed races for the first few weeks of the meeting.

The decision is part of an executive upheaval at Santa Anita this fall. On Nov. 24, track announcer Michael Wrona announced that his contract was not being renewed. Last Monday, Santa Anita announced that Frank Mirahmadi, who is currently calling races at Aqueduct, will start the Santa Anita job on Dec. 26.

Earlier in November, the XBTV and simulcast division at Santa Anita were reorganized and streamlined, with layoffs affecting several on-air and production personnel.

Hammerle, who has been involved in racing since 1986, was named racing secretary at Santa Anita in 2003 and given the title of vice president of racing in 2011. On a national basis, Hammerle has worked on the graded stakes committee and the selection committee for the Breeders’ Cup races.

Earlier in his career, Hammerle worked at tracks in Florida, New Jersey, and Northern California.

– additional reporting by Jay Privman

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