Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, New York Racing Association
As Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, Martin Panza provides strategic leadership and management oversight of all racing functions at NYRA, including program planning and the international development of racing operations. Under Panza’s leadership, NYRA has developed its “big-event” concept, the bundling of major stakes races into major days like the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, Travers Day, Whitney Day and the Stars & Stripes Festival.
Panza joined NYRA in 2014 from Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, CA, where he served as Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary and was responsible for all aspects of the daily racing operations. Previously, he was Hollywood Park’s Director of Racing and Racing Secretary.
Panza served two terms on the American Graded Stakes Committee, and is currently a member of the Breeders Cup Selection Committee, the Dubai World Cup Selection Committee, and the Jockey Club’s North American Ratings Committee. Panza has also served in a variety of racing positions at tracks and organizations including Nad Al Sheba Race Course in Dubai, Santa Anita Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, and Woodland Race Course in Kansas City, KS.
Panza created the American Oaks, a prestigious turf race for 3-year-old fillies that earned a Grade-I ranking in its initial year of eligibility. In doing so, he produced a sponsor, American Airlines, and built the reputation of the race by recruiting horses from Europe, Asia and Australia. Panza also created the first guaranteed wager in the United States, a guaranteed Pick 6 for $1 million, in 1998.
Panza is a graduate of the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona.