California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors
Ken Smole, Chair and President
Ken is a retired insurance industry executive with over thirty years of experience in the healthcare area. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and has resided in the Bay Area since 1972. Ken and his wife, Jane, have been horse owners since 1985 and they have long been committed to assisting backstretch workers. Ken has served on the CTHF board since 2007.
Victor Levine, MD, Vice Chair
Victor was a practicing Emergency Room physician for 38 years at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center. He is also a trained psychiatrist. Victor is an avid pilot and is presently a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo. He has also owned race horses in the past. Given his background in medicine and his experience in horse ownership, he brings a unique combination of talents and passion to our foundation. Victor’s wife, Alexandra, is a hematologic oncologist and is presently the Chief Medical Officer and a professor at the City of Hope.
Dave Naftzger, Secretary
Dave has been in the investment industry for 46 years. After receiving his MBA from the University of Southern California in 1970, he moved to New York and was a securities analyst and portfolio manager/strategist with E.F. Hutton for 12 years. Since returning to Los Angeles, he has been a financial advisor and has been employed at RBC Wealth Management since 2004. One of his personal highlights, while in New York, was witnessing three Triple Crown winners – Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. He and his wife, Valerie, have been past horse owners.
Angie Carmona has been serving California Thoroughbred horse racing for over thirty years. Now Deputy Director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, Angie came to Santa Anita in 1983, and has been an advocate for the interests of the backstretch community ever since. She was elected to the CTHF board in 2014. She also serves on the board of the nonprofit Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for backstretch workers and their family members through education programs such as scholarships, as well as social and recreation programs. Native Californians, Angie resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Alex.
Cal has deep roots in the Thoroughbred Industry. Ever since he started working as a Hot Walker at Belmont Park, at the age of 16, he’s had great respect for the backstretch workers, believing that they are an integral part of our Industry as they tirelessly care for the equine athletes day after day. His position on the board, along with serving as Vice President and General Manager of Golden Gate Fields, allows him to strive for the improvement of working and living conditions of the backstretch workers. Cal graduated from the University of Arizona Race Track Management Program with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science.
Damascus has been a Teamster member for 30 years, including a Business Representative for the past 15 years. As the labor representative on the CTHF board, Damascus has seen the passion his members have for the racing industry, given many of them come from families steeped in California racing’s history. Their passion has been contagious, and Damascus now brings that passion over to the backstretch community. Damascus has a son and a daughter. He grew up in Pico Rivera, California where he continues to reside.
Gerry has spent over 20 years in the Industry training for a select group of owners. He also owned a successful paint contracting business and developed residential and commercial properties. He is passionate about the horse racing Industry and is delighted to bring his expertise to the CTHF board regarding workers that he is around every working day. Gerry attended Chapman University on a baseball scholarship.
Joe is Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations for the Stronach Group since November of 2015. He was formerly president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. Joe has spent many years on both the management and horsemen’s side of the Industry. He also spent three years as publisher of the Thoroughbred Times, Horse Illustrated and Hobby Farms. Joe received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Finance at the University of Maine. He resides in Monrovia and is married to wife Debbie with two children, John and Brett.
Josh is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. He serves on several Industry committees and boards including Equibase, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America, Southern California Off-Track Wagering Association, the California Stabling and Vanning Committee and the California Thoroughbred Business League. Josh is a graduate of San Diego State University. He was born in New York, New York and currently resides in the Mission Hills District of San Diego.