Santa Anita Park has announced that John Perrotta has been named Santa Anita's Vice President, Operations, effective immediately. A self-described racetracker, author and screenwriter, Perrotta, a former trainer, breeder and racing manager, brings a wide breadth of racing and entertainment industry experience to his newly created position. His duties will include addressing issues relevant to pari-mutuel handle and assisting Santa Anita Chief Operating Officer, Tim Ritvo.
“I became acquainted with Tim several decades ago through our mutual friend, the late Bob Umphrey (longtime Mid-Atlantic racing official and Racing Secretary at Calder Race Course),” said Perrotta. “Our primary goal is to increase handle on our product, and a lot obviously goes into that. I see things as a fan does, and I'm here to assist Tim and his team and to make things better—operationally.”
The published author of four books, Perrotta, who started on the racetrack as a hot walker and groom upon graduating from high school in New Jersey, served as technical advisor, writer, executive story editor and co-producer of David Milch's LUCK, which was based at Santa Anita and aired on HBO for one season in 2011-12.
In addition to his work at an early age on the backstretch, Perrotta originally aspired to be a sports reporter, a role he enjoyed prior to a 10-year stint as a jockey agent on the eastern seaboard. Following that, he also worked in various capacities as a racing official at tracks such as Hialeah, Monmouth, Gulfstream, Garden State, Atlantic City, Pimlico, Laurel, Bowie, Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga.
Beginning in 1981, Perrotta enjoyed a 15-year run as Vice President and General Manager of Robert Brennan's Due Process Stables, which raced such champions as Deputy Minister and Dehere, while breeding two-time Eclipse Award winner and eventual Hall of Famer, Open Mind.
Perrotta's hiring is in keeping with The Stronach Group's established practice of employing men and women who have dedicated their lives to the Thoroughbred industry.
Santa Anita's 2017-18 Winter Meet will get underway with opening day on Tuesday, Dec. 26. Early first post time for a nine-race card, highlighted by the Grade I Malibu Stakes and La Brea Stakes, as well as two other graded events, the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile and the Grade II San Antonio Stakes, is at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.
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