Aidan Butler

Massive Laurel Horse Move-Out Preakness Week

Difficulties with the dirt track base repair and cushion resurfacing project at Laurel Park continue to mount, with the loose-ended timetable for the work now expected to extend at least until the start of July. Executives with The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, said during a Friday tele-meeting that they now need to pause work on the problematic and expensive project at Laurel until management can relocate of all horses stabled at Laurel to other facilities in Maryland. This news was delivered two weeks...

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Butler to Receive TOC's Ed Friendly Award

Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING and President, 1/ST CONTENT, has been selected by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) as recipient of the 2020 Ed Friendly Industry Service Award. The award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions and service in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Originally known as the TOC Chairman's Award, it was renamed for the legendary television producer, Thoroughbred owner and TOC founding member following his death in 2007. Former recipients include Mace Siegel, John Harris, Bob and Beverly Lewis, Jerry and Ann Moss, and Clement...

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The Week in Review: Time to Bring Back Down-the-Hill Turf Sprints at Santa Anita

There was a rare and welcome sight Saturday at Santa Anita when the field of five scampered across the down-the-hill turf course to begin the 1 1/2-mile GIII San Luis Rey S. There were no incidents in a perfectly clean race where no one was hurt. So why can't the course also be used for what were iconic 6 1/2-furlong downhill grass races? They haven't carded a turf sprint on that course since a horse named Arms Runner (Overdriven) broke down and had to be euthanized in the running of...

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Jason Wilson Appointed COO of 1/ST CONTENT

1/ST CONTENT, the operating group for all of 1/ST's media and content companies, announced the appointment of Jason Wilson as Chief Operating Officer. Wilson will work directly with Aidan Butler, President, 1/ST CONTENT, to further develop and align the company's North American and international content businesses. He will focus on innovating Thoroughbred racing content programs and building competitive customer platforms. "I am thrilled to have Jason, a well-known and knowledgeable industry executive who shares our vision for the future of our sport, as part of the 1/ST team," said Butler....

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Gryder Appointed 1/ST RACING VP of Industry Relations

Retired jockey Aaron Gryder has been appointed to the position of Vice President, Industry Relations for 1/ST RACING. Gryder will serve as a liaison between 1/ST RACING and industry stakeholders to help advance health, safety and rider reforms with a focus on jockey outreach. He will act as an ambassador for 1/ST RACING in California, Florida and Maryland. Gryder, who will be based in Florida and, reports directly to Aidan Butler, 1/ST's chief operating officer. He will be a media spokesperson for the company and also a primary point of...

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Holiday Reflections On The Year That Was

While 2020 has been a year of hardships for everyone in our industry, many people have said the sport has come together in ways it never has before. As we enter into the holiday season, we spoke with several people who helped make this year a little better. We asked them to reflect on the things that have been particularly difficult to deal with this year; what they have learned because of these struggles and what they hope our industry will take away from this year as we look to...

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Aidan Butler Joins the TDN Writers' Room

The Stronach Group's Aidan Butler discusses possible changes at Gulfstream Park in this week's TDN Writers' Room.

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Gulfstream May Install a Synthetic Surface

Looking for ways to avoid overusing the turf course at Gulfstream Park, The Stronach Group may install a synthetic Tapeta surface at the South Florida track. The news was revealed by Stronach Group COO Aidan Butler during his appearance on this week's TDN Writers' Room, presented by Keeneland. Butler said that The Stronach Group is looking into the possibility of having three tracks at Gulfstream, dirt, turf and synthetic. The grass course at Gulfstream is under heavy use throughout the year, but it had been getting a two-month break while...

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Shocker–Gulfstream Races Go Off at Post Time

After years of dragging its races out and running as many as seven or eight minutes after the listed post times, Gulfstream Park had a major surprise for horseplayers Wednesday on the opening day of the Championship Meet. The races were run at their advertised post times. The change was ushered in by Aidan Butler, who had been working at the California tracks for The Stronach Group, the owners of Gulfstream, before he was recently promoted and reassigned, with his new duties including overseeing Florida racing. "There are so many...

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Aidan Butler Appointed to COO, 1/ST Racing and President, 1/ST Content

The Stronach Group's Aidan Butler has been appointed to Chief Operating Officer, 1/ST RACING and to President, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST announced Thursday. Butler joined The Stronach Group in 2018 and has been front and center in California leading the racing operations teams at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields as the Acting Executive Director of California Racing Operations. In addition, he also served as Chief Strategy Officer for The Stronach Group. Butler will work directly with Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING, to further develop the company's racing...

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Riders Up Documentary Takes Look Behind Scenes at “First Sports Bubble”

As the  realities of the coronavirus started to spread across California and the country, the team at Santa Anita wasn't sure how to prepare for what could have quickly escalated into a dire situation for the track and the sport. But what began as a scramble of sorts led to a well-coordinated plan. Racing would successfully return to the historic Southern California track and with an innovative wrinkle. During the racing week, the jockeys were required to live in a bubble in campers situated on track. What might at first...

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New Turf Chute Will Give Santa Anita Extra Sprint Options

Santa Anita Park has broken ground on a new turf chute adjacent to the main dirt track's seven-furlong chute that will allow sprints up to 6 1/2 furlongs to be conducted on the grass oval. The new configuration won't be ready in time for the upcoming meet that commences Sept. 19. But once the extension is completed, track management is going to consider reopening the currently closed 6 1/2-furlong downhill turf course for select usage. Aidan Butler, the chief strategy officer and executive director of California racing operations for The...

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