Bettering the quality of life for backstretch workers

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 who was formerly the Chief Medical Officer and a professor at the City of Hope.


Angie Carmona – Secretary

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 Castellanos

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.


Rick Gold

Rick is a a retired Silicon Valley entrepreneur, executive and investor.  Co-founder of four high-tech companies, he most recently served as the CEO of CalAmp Corp.  He has extensive experience with board governance, having served on the boards of 20 organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  A Cornell University graduate, he received an MBA from Northeastern University and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.  He has been a racehorse owner since 2004, and currently serves of the TOC Board of Directors.  He and his wife, Marcia, reside in Del Mar.  Rick has been inspired by the dedication and skill of the backstretch workers he has met and appreciates the opportunity to work with the CTHF to help improve their lives.


Gerry Piccioni

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.


Josh Rubinstein

Josh is President and Chief Executive 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.

eric sindler

Eric Sindler

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 membersm Eric appreciates the work our foundation does on behalf of the backstretch workers.

Advisory Board


Dave Naftzger
Ed Halpern
Wayne Baker
Bob Zamarripa
Sean Meehan