Hale Named MJC Vice President of Racing Development

Georganne Hale, who has served as Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary for the Maryland Jockey Club, has taken the new position of Vice President of Racing Development for the organization.

Hale has been racing secretary for the MJC since 2000 and began with the MJC in 1984 as assistant racing secretary. Chris Merz, assistant racing secretary at Los Alamitos Race Course and stakes coordinator at Santa Anita Park and Del Mar, will take over as MJC racing secretary.

In her new position, Hale will oversee and coordinate revitalization of the Maryland International, formerly known as the Washington D.C. International; assist with the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships (MATCH Series), which returned to the calendar this year after 16 years; lead and monitor philanthropic initiatives with Beyond The Wire, Canter for a Cause and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance; and serve as a liaison for backstretch programs.

“I’m very excited about this new position with the Maryland Jockey Club,” said Hale, the first woman to serve as racing secretary at a major North American racetrack. “I look forward to the great opportunities it presents to continue to build the Thoroughbred racing program and help with philanthropic programs.”

“We’re thrilled that Georganne will be leading these important initiatives for the Maryland Jockey Club,” said Sal Sinatra, MJC President and General Manager. “As we continue to build and revitalize Thoroughbred racing in the Mid-Atlantic, we believe strongly that Georganne is the person to help lead us and accomplish these goals. Her knowledge of the industry and local communities is invaluable.”

Merz is a graduate of the Animal Science/Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona. A former stakes coordinator and placing judge at Golden Gate Fields, Merz has also been a placing judge, entry clerk and assistant clerk of scales.

“I’m really excited about coming to Maryland and working with Georganne, Sal Sinatra, everyone in the racing office and all the horsemen,” Merz said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity. They’re doing such great things in Maryland. I’m really looking forward to working at Laurel and Pimlico.”

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