Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., has announced that a pair of longtime employees, Andy LaRocco and Jason Spetnagel, have been promoted to Track Superintendent and Vice President Operations, respectively, as the track continues to draw from a deep bench of dedicated men and women.
LaRocco, 61, will assume his position on Jan. 1, as current Track Superintendent Dennis Moore is resigning his position at the end of the year. A native of nearby Bellflower, LaRocco has been a part of Santa Anita's track maintenance crew for 37 years and has been Moore's chief assistant for the past five
“It's really an honor to be following Dennis in this position,” said LaRocco. “Dennis is a guy who commands respect throughout our entire industry and working with him these past five years have been the best of my life at Santa Anita. I worked with Dennis when he first came and re-did the main track with El Segundo Sand, which has been the safest surface we've ever had here.
“I believe Santa Anita is the top track in the country and I know I speak for my entire crew when I say we're ready and that we will continue to have the same track maintenance program that we've had the past five years. We intend to provide the jockeys, horsemen and the betting public with the safest and most consistent surface we possibly can every day.”
A Southern California native, Spetnagel, 46, was first employed at Santa Anita as a part of the Turf Course crew in 1994. Six years later, he shifted to Golden Gate Fields, where he held several positions: Plant Superintendent, Director of Operations and he was serving as Assistant General Manager when he returned to Santa Anita as Director of Facilities and Grounds in 2007.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I'm looking forward to being part of Santa Anita's continuing success,” said Spetnagel. “Santa Anita is obviously a very special place and we intend to keep it that way. I think our employees take a special pride in working here and I'm blessed to have such a talented team. We're all excited for the future.”
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