Alempijevic to join NYTHA as Executive Director

Posted: Feb. 4, 2020

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced Feb. 4 that Will Alempijevic (pronounced Al-em-pee-ya-vich) will join the organization effective Feb. 12 as the new Executive Director.

Alempijevic replaces Andy Belfiore, who served in the role for four years before leaving to take the post as the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Project Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities last October.

A member of the New York Racing Association team since November 2015, Alempijevic was the Director of Business Development before being promoted to Director of Guest Services. He most recently was named Director of Racing Analytics, where he focused on horse safety and welfare initiatives, as well as compiling and analyzing racing office data to help inform the department’s business decisions.

“We are excited to welcome Will to the NYTHA team,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “He brings a wealth of experience in a number of areas vital to the health of New York’s racing industry, and skills in data analytics and interdepartmental collaboration that will be of great value to our organization. He is also passionate about the sport, and we look forward to working with him.”

Prior to coming to New York, Alempijevic was with Portland Meadows racetrack in Portland, Ore., for nine years, starting as Director of Wagering and Guest Services and working his way up to General Manager in January 2008. He held that position for more than seven years.

Alempijevic, a graduate of Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario with a degree in economics with financial management, started his racing career as OTB Guest Services Manager at Flamboro Downs, a harness track in Ontario, and also worked at Western Fair Raceway before making the switch to Thoroughbred racing.

In addition to his experience on the frontside of the racetrack, Alempijevic has owned racehorses since 2004, and is currently licensed as a Standardbred owner in New York. Primarily involved in harness racing, he has owned two Thoroughbreds as well and celebrated a win at Del Mar with trainer Bill Spawr. His stable currently consists of two harness horses based in Ontario.

Alempijevic also serves on the Board of the Backstretch Employee Service Team.

“It is an honor to represent the men and women who own, train, and work behind the scenes with the horses on the great NYRA circuit,” Alempijevic said.