Two hired, one promoted to fill steward positions in Delaware

By: THA

Posted: March 10, 2018

Cynthia Smith and Robert Colton have been hired by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission to serve as Associate State Steward and Safety Steward, respectively.

The appointments came March 8, several months after the DTRC promoted steward James Lages to the position of Chief State Steward after Jack Houghton retired at the end of the 2017 racing season at Delaware Park.

Smith, a Level II Steward and racing official, has a national racing background, having worked in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. The DTRC said in release she was “the logical choice” for the position.

DTRC Executive Director John Wayne said Smith served on a distinguished panel of stewards at the 2017 Racing Officials Accreditation Program continuing education class at Delaware Park and was familiar with her work ethic, having worked with her during time spent with the American Quarter Horse Association Enforcement Team in New Mexico and Texas.

Colton is a former jockey who was based at Mid-Atlantic tracks and an accredited official who has spent much of his time at Delaware Park.

“(Colton) is a man of integrity that I have known since 1980,” Wayne said. “He knows safety concerns and was a member of the Delaware Safety Committee. He has done an outstanding job as the Director of the Delaware Jockey’s Association and handling health insurance needs for the riders. He brings a knowledge and perspective from the saddle having been a professional jockey for many years.

“Both of these individuals have a deep respect for the racing industry and the people involved in racing. They will fit in well, maintaining the high level of regulatory oversight that the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission expects and deserves.”

Lages, also a former jockey, has served as state steward in New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and Minnesota.

“He has earned the respect of the commission and his co-workers during his time in Delaware,” DTRC Chairman Duncan Patterson said. “His experience as a racing official and former participant as a jockey gives him a field-level perspective of the industry.”

In other business at the March 8 meeting, the commission again discussed the language in proposed legislation that would authorize the state to join an interstate compact for equine medication and drug-testing standards. Wayne said the commission asked its attorney to prepare proper-formatted language to be submitted to the Delaware legislature.

The Maryland Racing Commission in late February endorsed the compact legislation, which was introduced in the state House of Representatives and heard by the Ways and Means Committee in early March.

(Delaware Park photo by Tom LaMarra)