Bad­gett set­tles into new role as GM

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By Mike Welsch

Three years ago, Bill Bad­gett was still train­ing horses. To­day, he’s in charge of one of the pre­mier race­tracks in the world fol­low­ing his re­cent pro­mo­tion to gen­eral man­ager of Gulfstream Park.

Bad­gett, the son of a jockey, be­gan his ca­reer in Thor­ough­bred rac­ing in 1970. He served as an as­sis­tant to Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens for five years be­fore tak­ing out his own li­cense in 1985. Bad­gett’s big­gest claim to fame dur­ing his nearly 40-year ca­reer was train­ing the great Go for Wand to two Eclipse Awards and a win in the 1989 Breeders’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies at Gulfstream Park.

Bad­gett, 64, was first hired as a con­sul­tant to The Stronach Group in 2014, over­see­ing daily op­er­a­tions at Gulfstream Park as well as work­ing closely with Stronach Group man­age­ment on ma­jor events such as the Pe­ga­sus World Cup, Preak­ness Stakes, Florida Derby, and Mary­land Mil­lion. He was named to suc­ceed P.J. Campo as gen­eral man­ager last week.

“This pro­mo­tion is like a dream come true,” said Bad­gett. “Work­ing on the other side of the spec­trum, go­ing from train­ing horses to the man­age­ment side, is ob­vi­ously a real chal­lenge. Jump­ing from be­ing a trainer on a Fri­day and com­ing to work here the next Mon­day was prob­a­bly the hard­est part, and I re­ally have to thank Tim Ritvo and P.J. for help­ing make the tran­si­tion eas­ier for me. It’s al­ready been a great ex­pe­ri­ence as well as a great honor to work for The Stronach Group, with their tremen­dous com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ally en­hance the fu­ture of the rac­ing industry.”

Bad­gett’s new role goes far be­yond sim­ply run­ning Gulfstream Park. His du­ties in­clude over­see­ing the rac­ing de­part­ment, the Vil­lage mall ad­ja­cent to the track, and train­ing fa­cil­i­ties at Gulfstream Park West and Palm Mead­ows.

“Ba­si­cally, I’ve taken over all as­pects of P.J.’s job here,” said Bad­gett. “It’s ob­vi­ously go­ing to be a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially with the cham­pi­onship meet slated to open in less than two months, the ma­jor thought process be­ing not only to make every Pe­ga­sus World Cup, every Florida Derby, every big day the best we can, but every other rac­ing day as well. I’ve al­ready learned a lot in a short time since mov­ing into a man­age­ment po­si­tion with The Stronach Group and look­ing for­ward to the many chal­lenges that lie ahead here.”

◗ Gulfstream Park has named Gus­tavo Ed­uardo Vau­tier as the of­fi­cial treat­ing vet­eri­nar­ian for the Cla­sico In­ter­na­cional del Caribe, to be run for the first time in North Amer­ica on Dec. 9. Vau­tier, a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Equine Prac­ti­tion­ers, worked as a vet­eri­nar­ian in his na­tive Ar­gentina be­fore com­ing to the U.S. two decades ago. He has since started his own equine prac­tice at Gulfstream as well as at ma­jor horse sales around the coun­try.

◗ Bird Hu­mor ben­e­fited from a ground-sav­ing ride by Jorge Ruiz to win Wed­nes­day’s $43,000 al­lowance fea­ture at Gulfstream Park West for trainer Reid Na­gle, edg­ing out the lightly raced Dance Strike to record his fourth win in his last five starts.

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