California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors
Ken Smole, 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.
Angie Carmona – Secretary/Treasurer
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.
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. His passion has been contagious, and Damascus now brings that passion not only over to the backstretch community, but also as a Commissioner on the California Horse Racing Board. Damascus has a son and a daughter. He grew up in Pico Rivera, California where he continues to reside.
Thomas R Bell
“Ray” has been involved in the Thoroughbred Industry as a trainer, owner and breeder for most of his life. He also currently serves as a board member of the California Thoroughbred Trainers (“CTT”). Ray’s father and grandfather were also heavily involved in the Industry — his grandfather’s participation dating back to when Del Mar originally opened in the late 1930’s. Ray has seen the benefits the CTHF offers to his employees, and all backstretch workers, and is pleased to be able to represent his fellow stable workers with a seat on the CTHF board.
Josh is President and Chief Operating Officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. He serves on several Industry committees and boards including the Equibase Management Committee , the California Stabling and Vanning Committee, and the California Business League. In addition, he serves as a Director and Secretary of the TRA, and is a board member for SCOTWINC, as well as the recently formed Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. 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.
Eric has been a fan of horse racing since he first went to Pimlico Racecourse with his father over 30 years ago. After graduating from law school, he nevertheless wanted to get back into racing and obtained his Master’s Degree from the Arizona Race Track Industry program. Eric is currently employed by Monarch Content Management, LLC, and is heavily involved in negotiating export and import simulcast agreements for a myriad of racing entities. Eric also serves as a board member for SCOTWINC, the Stabling and Vanning Committee, the CTBL (Workmen’s Compensation) and the California Marketing Committee. Like all of our board members, Eric appreciates the work our foundation does on behalf of the backstretch workers.
A native of England, with a bachelors degree from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirenceter, Millie moved to California in 1995 to be an exercise rider at Hollywood Park. The former amateur jockey worked for Hall of Fame trainers Bobby Frankel, Bod Baffert and Richard Mandella. In 2003, now married to trainer Tim Yakteen, Millie joined the Santa Anita on-air family as a host and reporter with HRTV. In 2015, Millie joined a small group in the launch of XBTV, which has become Thoroughbred horse racing’s “go to” platform for morning workouts. A constant presence in morning backstretch activities over many years has provided Millie with a passion of dedication to both the horses and the workers CTHF services.
Stephanie and her family have been in horse racing, as owners, since 2010. As her time at the track increased, her attention expanded from the love of watching the horses race to all that goes into getting a horse to the track. She particularly was drawn to the hard work and dedication of the backstretch workers, and she found this community to be very similar to many of the migrant families she worked with as a School Counselor in California’s Central Valley. Stephanie serves on additional boards and committees in the industry. She looks forward to serving the backstretch community as a CTHF board member.
Lucy has been fully engaged in California Thoroughbred racing as an owner, breeder, syndicate partner and the aftercare of Thoroughbreds. She recognizes her athletes are successful when part of the team, which includes their grooms, hotwalkers, riders and training leaders. When not at the track, she forms part of several startups across North and Latin America. She serves as Chairwoman to Financiera Contigo, MD Partners, Troquer, and UN’s Business for eTrade. She also serves on LRF Cares Board of focusing on the aftercare of Thoroughbreds. Fluent in Spanish, she looks forward to continuing to improve the lives of the backstretch workers.
Dr. James Dunn
Dr. Dunn is a recently retired physician but is still motivated to help others in the medical arena. Fortunately for CTHF, he has the time to do so. Dr. Dunn feels a connection with the largely Hispanic population we service. As a child, he lived in Venezuela for eight years then moving back to the United States he trained at LAC-USC in East Los Angeles, then practiced in Santa Barbara, California, where he now resides. He treated a large agricultural population and participated in several missions to Honduras and Guatemala, ironically where many of the backstretch workers are from. Dr. Dunn also has a background at the racetrack with his grandfather, uncle and cousin all being horse trainers. He is a small-scale owner of Thoroughbreds, giving him another perspective of racetrack life.