Fravel assumes role of Thoroughbred Club president, general manager
By Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Craig R. Fravel, who has served as Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s executive vice president since he joined the organization in 1990, has been elevated to the dual roles of its president and general manager, it was announced Tuesday.
Fravel, 53, will continue to report to Joe Harper, as he has done since Harper hired him away from DMTC’s law firm two decades ago. Harper, who has carried the triple titles of chief executive officer, president and general manager at DMTC since 1990, now will be its CEO only.
“This is a well-deserved promotion for Craig,” Harper stated. “In the past few years especially he has taken on many of the nitty-gritty assignments that come with running a place like Del Mar and he’s done exceptional work for us. He’s proven to be invaluable to our business here, as well as a sought-after leader in the industry throughout the country.”
Harper and Fravel both report to DMTC’s 11-person board of directors. Harper holds an additional role as one of those directors.
In addition to Fravel’s promotion, two other members of the track’s executive staff have been recognized and elevated: Michael R. Ernst now carries the title of executive vice president, finance and chief financial officer, and Thomas S. Robbins now is listed as Del Mar’s executive vice president, racing and industry relations/racing secretary.
Fravel, a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Law, practiced at major law firms in Washington, D.C., and San Diego prior to switching to the world of racing in 1990. He proved a quick study in the game and helped guide the $80-million rebuilding of the Del Mar grandstand shortly after he came on board. Subsequently, his influence has grown from within the organization to major roles in racing in the state of California and on a national level.
Currently he serves as the president of the Dolly Green Research Foundation; as chairman of Southern California Off-Track Wagering Inc.; chairman of the statewide California Marketing Committee and chairman of CHRIMS, Inc. Additionally, he serves on the boards of Equibase Inc. the official provider of racing data to the Thoroughbred industry; the national Racing and Medication Testing Consortium and the Southern California Equine Foundation.
Previously, he served as both a member and chairman of the board of the national Thoroughbred Racing Association, as well as president of the Federation of California Racing Associations.
Ernst, 55, joined DMTC as its chief financial officer in 1991 and soon was called on to add his expertise to a series of racing organizations in California and beyond. Prior to coming on board at Del Mar, the San Diego State graduate had worked as a CPA and banking executive in Southern California.
Robbins, 56, part of California’s famous Robbins racing clan, is considered one of America’s most knowledgeable racing officials and serves on many of the sport’s major racing committees or boards, both nationally and internationally. This summer the USC grad will be serving his 30th season as Del Mar’s racing secretary.
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