First Racetrack Maintenance Innovation Award Winners Announced

Dennis Moore | Santa Anita Photo

Edited Press Release

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) presented the Racetrack Maintenance Innovation Awards to its first class of award winners Monday evening at the Racecourse Managers' Conference and Workshop in Las Vegas. The award was created to celebrate the work of racetrack professionals who have day-to-day responsibilities for the maintenance, protection, and safety of horses and riders at tracks across the US. The 2022 winners distinguished themselves as some of the most innovative racetrack professionals in Thoroughbred racing today.

“It's so important to highlight the work of racetrack managers and operators because their work is critical to the success of Thoroughbred racing,” said NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney. “I congratulate this first class of winners and thank each of them for their dedication to the safety and well-being of horses and riders.”

The 2022 winners are:

Leif Dickenson – Turf and Landscape Superintendent at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club – Nominated for his introduction of fibers in turf profiles at Santa Anita Park to improve the sheer strength of sand without the use of alternative fine materials that would impede drainage.

Joe King – posthumously awarded, former New York Racing Association (NYRA) Track Superintendent – Nominated for being the first person in racing to systematically include testing of the racing surfaces on a regular basis and for being a critical asset in designing racetrack surfaces.

Dennis Moore – Superintendent at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Santa Anita Racetrack, and Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Racing – Nominated for his innovative work that led to maintenance and operational innovations for the synthetic racetrack surfaces at Remington Park and Hollywood Park, and for his work to consistently evaluate new technologies including fiber and new maintenance equipment for dirt and synthetic surfaces.

Nominations for the 2023 Racetrack Maintenance Innovation Awards will be open beginning Oct. 1, 2022. For more information, visit

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