SHRP's Bork Elected TRA President

Robert L. Bork, president and general manager of Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, was elected the 33rd president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) at its annual Board of Directors’ meeting Monday at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. Bork succeeded Corey S. Johnsen, former president of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, at the conclusion of his two-year term as TRA president.

The TRA is a trade organization of 43 North American racetracks and associations whose races generate more than 75 percent of the $15.1 billion wagered annually on North American Thoroughbred racing.

Bork, a leading racetrack executive with more than 35 years experience in the pari-mutuel industry, held top executive positions at Arlington International, Philadelphia Park, and Garden State Park before joining Sam Houston as senior vice president and general manager in 1995.

Immediately after taking the reins, Bork quickly guided Sam Houston to dramatic growth in attendance and handle, turning the 14-year-old Texas racing facility into one of racing’s premier evening tracks in the country. Sam Houston racing now attracts wagering in more than 500 outlets in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Central and South America. Bork also lifted Sam Houston to national prominence when it hosted the first $1 million MBNA America Challenge Championships for quarter horses on November 6, 2004.

In addition to his long tenure on the TRA Board of Directors, Bork has been secretary of the organization for more than 20 years. Since its inception in 1990 as the 1995 Committee, a technology group established to implement full-card, merged pool simulcasting and now known as the 2020 Committee, Bork has served as its chairman. Within two years, the Committee achieved its primary goal of implementing merged pool simulcasting nationally and since then has coordinated industry-wide review of new and continuing simulcast and wagering technology. Simulcasting now generates more than 87 percent of all North American handle.

Bork is also the president of Valley Race Park, a greyhound facility wholly-owned by Sam Houston Race Park in Harlingen, Texas.

The TRA Board of Directors also elected Oak Tree Racing Association executive vice president Sherwood C. Chillingworth as TRA secretary to succeed Bork.

The TRA Board re-elected C. Kenneth Dunn, president of Calder Race Course, and David S. Willmot, chairman and chief executive officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group, as vice presidents.

The Board also re-elected William I. Fasy as treasurer and Christopher N. Scherf as executive vice president. Fasy is the chief operating officer of Delaware Park and Ocean Downs and has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality and entertainment business. Scherf has been the TRA executive vice president since 1988..

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