Mor­ris is leav­ing in first shake-up at Santa Anita

Los Angeles Times - - NLCS - By John Cherwa john.cherwa@la­times.com Twit­ter: @jcherwa

In the first big man­age­ment move at Santa Anita since Tim Ritvo took over, Joe Mor­ris is leav­ing his post as se­nior vice pres­i­dent of West Coast op­er­a­tions for the Stronach Group. The track an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion was ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

The man­age­ment tree at Santa Anita had got­ten a lit­tle crowded with Ritvo’s ar­rival. Mor­ris had been serv­ing as a gen­eral man­ager and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, which is mostly the role that Ritvo had as­sumed.

Ritvo said there are no cur­rent plans to fill Mor­ris’ po­si­tion.

“We will eval­u­ate the cur­rent staff to see if any­one could suc­ceed him in that po­si­tion,” Ritvo said. “But there is no de­ci­sion on that. In the mean­time, I’ll fa­cil­i­tate some of his du­ties and send off some of his other du­ties to oth­ers on staff.”

Mor­ris, said his state­ment, re­leased by Santa Anita, cov­ered ev­ery­thing.

“At this time of my life, it’s go­ing to be good to get back to my [breed­ing] farm in Lex­ing­ton,” Mor­ris said in the state­ment. “My wife has been run­ning the op­er­a­tion back there and my fam­ily has been spread over sev­eral thou­sand miles for quite a few years now and we’re look­ing for­ward to spend­ing more time to­gether in a place we all love.”

The spec­u­la­tion was that with Ritvo’s ar­rival there was a glut of se­nior man­agers. Among that group is Keith Brack­pool, whose ti­tle is chair­man of West Coast op­er­a­tions for the Stronach Group.

“I’m sure there were a few dif­fer­ent rea­sons [for Mor­ris leav­ing],” Ritvo said. “Whether it be the di­rec­tion we were headed or too many cooks in the kitchen. “

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