RTIP Award Winners

John K. Goodman Alumni Award

This honor is bestowed upon one of the RTIP’s many distinguished alumni who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry. The award is named in honor of John K. Goodman, a founding father of the Race Track Industry Program who has provided direction and support to the program since its inception.

Liz Bracken

The 2019 John K. Goodman Alumni Award was awarded posthumously to Liz Bracken. The contributions Liz made to the racing industry, during her 23 year career – 16 years with NYRA in simulcasting and 7 years in various capacities as a racing official – are immense. The impact that she’s made through the successful careers of her students and mentees will never be truly quantified but is best described by one of her recent students: “Liz was an incredibly kind and genuine person who had a positive impact on those who knew her. Liz was more than an instructor, she was a mentor and friend. She always had time for her students and was proud of our successes. I will always treasure my relationship with her. Rest easy Liz, and thank you for sharing your knowledge and believing in me.”

 

Liz Bracken
 

Past Recipients:

  • 2018 — Joe Harper
  • 2017 — Pete Aiello
  • 2016 — Jim Mulvihill
  • 2015 — Peter Rotondo
  • 2014 — Tom Ventura
  • 2013 — Martin Panza
  • 2012 — Raj Mutti
  • 2011 — Eric Halstrom
  • 2010 — Robert Hartman
  • 2009 — Bill Knauf
  • 2008 — Jim Kostas
  • 2007 — Joe Osborne
  • 2006 — Michael Weiss
  • 2005 — Dr. Scot Waterman
  • 2004 — Philip O’Hara
  • 2003 — Patricia McQueen
  • 2002 — Todd Pletcher
  • 2001 — Luke Kruytbosch
  • 2000 — Ann McGovern
  • 1999 — Lonny Powell
  • 1998 — Dan Fick
  • 1997 — Bob Baffert

 

Clay Puett Award

This honor is bestowed upon a person or persons for their outstanding contributions to the racing industry. Inaugurated December 9, 1994, the award is named for the late Clay Puett, an Arizona resident whose innovations, including the development of the mechanical starting gate, helped to revolutionize racing around the world.

The Cella Family

The 2019 Clay Puett Award was awarded to the Cella Family. “Oaklawn has been a labor of love for my family for 116 years. We believe Oaklawn is the oldest continuously owned sports franchise in America and we are very proud of the fact that today we are one of the brightest spots in racing. With our live season starting in just a few weeks, Oaklawn will begin an exciting new era which includes gaming and sports betting and will soon include a high-rise hotel overlooking our home stretch, convention facilities, restaurant and a spa. But at the center of it all, which is our main focus, is our great sport of Thoroughbred racing,” said Louis Cella.

 

Logo of Oaklawn Park

Past Recipients:

  • 2018 — Peggy Hendershot
  • 2017 — Bob Curran
  • 2016 — Pierre Bellocq
  • 2015 — Marylou Whitney
  • 2014 — Mary Scollay
  • 2013 — Michael Blowen
  • 2012 — Sherwood “Chilly” Chillingworth
  • 2011 — The Race for Education
  • 2010 — The Grayson–Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc.
  • 2009 — Richard Duchossois
  • 2008 — Jim McKay
  • 2007 — Stan Bergstein
  • 2006 — Jay Hickey and The American Horse Council
  • 2005 — WinStar Farm
  • 2004 — Trudy McCaffery
  • 2003 — Cothran ‘Cot’ Campbell
  • 2002 — The Mabee Family
  • 2001 — Joe Hirsch
  • 2000 — John Gaines
  • 1999 — The Vessels Family
  • 1998 — The Brady Family
  • 1997 — The Hancock Family
  • 1996 — The Phipps Family
  • 1995 — Allen Paulson
  • 1994 — Clement Hirsch 

 

Distinguished Student Award

The distinguished student award goes to the RTIP student or students that the faculty feels best embodies the qualities and performance that represent the goal of the Program—to bridge education with opportunity. The award recognizes academic and personal growth and achievement. The 2019, the award was earned by two students: Abel Zander and Alex Sausville.

Abel Zander

Abel Zander has made it his mission to add as many skills to his repertoire as possible while at the University. In addition to his RTIP coursework, he is finishing a second degree in Arabic and a minor in Finance. Add to that a Cybersecurity certification, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. A fantasy sports enthusiast, Abel has spent the last two years working to find ways for racing to reach a new fan base using the fantasy medium. 

Abel Zander

Abel Zander with his Distinguished Student Award

Alex Sausville

Alex Sausville is a true fan of racing and has traveled all across North America visiting racetracks. A stop at Beulah Park fueled his desire to visit every live racetrack in the country. Then a trip to the old Great Barrington Fairgrounds sparked his interest in visiting all the venues of racings past. In the past 6 years, he’s been to over 110 different racetracks, of which 60 were still racing. He enjoys expanding his knowledge by learning about all the different segments of the racing industry – all breeds, from wagering to the sales.

Wendy Davis and Alex Sausville

Wendy Davis presents Alex Sausville with the Distinguished Student Award

Past Recipients:

  • 2018 — Zach Taylor
  • 2017 — Keith Doleshel
  • 2016 — Erin Doty-Mcquaid
  • 2015 — Honor Bremer and Sarah Crane
  • 2014 — Randy Olson
  • 2013 — Claudia Koehler
  • 2012 — Matt Benton
  • 2011 — Heather Shatz
  • 2010 — David "Mylor" Rider
  • 2009 — Steve May
  • 2008 — Nikki DeBasio and Matt Carter
  • 2007 — Jon Forbes
  • 2006 — Jason Egan and Jon Moss
  • 2005 — Eric Yee
  • 2004 — Jon Hansen
  • 2003 — Heather Meacham
  • 2002 — Stacia Celeste Mumm
  • 2001 — Laura Plato
  • 2000 — Dr. Scot Waterman
  • 1999 — Sable Downs
  • 1998 — Mike Hummel
  • 1997 — Valora Kilby