NYTHA announces candidates for election; Violette opts not to run

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 16, 2017

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has announced the slate of candidates for its election, and it doesn’t include longtime President Rick Violette Jr., who has opted not to run again.

The NYTHA Board of Directors is comprised of the president, five owner directors and five trainer directors. The lone candidate for president is owner Joseph Appelbaum, who is a current member of the NYTHA board.

Ballots will be mailed Oct. 24 and must be received by the close of business Dec. 4, NYTHA said.

Violette, who counts recent Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Diversify among his trainees, has been a member of the NYTHA board for more than two decades and as president has guided the organization through some difficult times involving state politics and the New York Racing Association. He has served as a non-voting member of the NYRA board until this year, when legislation granted voting status to the NYTHA seat.

“I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to run for president again this year,” Violette said. “I’ve been on the board for more than 25 years, and am truly proud to have served beside really dedicated directors and great staff, and of all that we’ve accomplished together. It has been incredibly rewarding. But I’ve decided to take my name off the list of candidates this year. It’s time.”

Violette also serves as President of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, of which NYTHA is an affiliate.

The following are the candidates in the upcoming election:

President: Joseph Applebaum

Owner directors: Andy Aaron, Tina Marie Bond, Jack Brothers, Jim Caterbone, Tom Durkin, Terry Finley, Kim Laudati, Robert Masiello, Michael Shanley and Aron Yogoda.

Trainer directors: Jimmy Ferraro, Leah Gyarmati, Patrick Kelly, John Kimmel, Linda Rice, Richard Schosberg and George Weaver.

Along with Appelbaum, Aaron, Bond, Brothers, Ferraro, Gyarmati, Rice, Schosberg and Shanley are current board members.

NYTHA has an election every three years. In order to be eligible to vote, an individual must hold a valid owner or trainer license from the New York State Gaming Commission, must have been licensed by Sept. 24, 2017, and must have had a minimum of one starter at a NYRA track between Jan. 1, 2016, and Sept. 24, 2017.

The mailing list for the receipt of ballots was finalized at the close of business Oct. 2. NYTHA said those who believe they are eligible to vote but do not receive a ballot after they are mailed should contact the NYTHA office at 516-488-2337 (until Oct. 29) or 718-848-5045 (starting Oct. 31), or by email to abelfiore@nytha.com.