Following the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, Craig Fravel returned to California to lead the racing assets of the Stronach Group including Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel, Pimlico, Rosecroft and Santa Anita as Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations and transitioned to Executive Vice-Chairman in late 2022. Fravel undertook this new challenge following a rewarding run as President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited from 2011 through 2019. His tenure at the Breeders’ Cup followed 21 years managing the daily operations of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and serving as a leader of various Thoroughbred industry organizations.
During Fravel’s time at Del Mar, the race track experienced unprecedented growth as a national leader in daily average attendance and wagering at its world renowned summer meeting by the Pacific Ocean just north of San Diego. Fravel oversaw the $80 million reconstruction of the track’s grandstand in 1992-’93, and the $9 million installation of a new engineered racing surface, which was completed in 2007. He was also a driving force in enhancing the customer experience of a day at the races and incorporating a program of music and entertainment at Del Mar while helping to increase its reputation as one of the most popular international venues in sports.
While at Del Mar and the Breeders’ Cup, Fravel emerged as a leading racing industry figure, serving in an advisory capacity for a number of organizations. Fravel served as Chairman of Southern California Off-Track Wagering, Inc. (SCOTWINC) and was Chairman of the statewide California Marketing Committee. He also served on the board of Equibase, the official provider of racing data for the Thoroughbred industry.
Fravel currently serves on the board of the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund, the Southern California Equine Foundation and the Dolly Green Research Foundation. He has served as a director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (and previously served as Chairman) as well as the National Racing and Medication Testing Consortium,. He is a member of The Jockey Club and served on its Board of Stewards from 2011 until 2015. He chairs the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee.
Fravel joined the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club as its Executive Vice President in 1990 after working as a partner in the San Diego law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps, specializing in corporate law and finance where he represented Del Mar. He was named President and General Manager of Del Mar in March of 2010.
Fravel is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (home of the 2019 NCAAMB National Champions) and a cum laude graduate of Bucknell University. He and his wife Cathie have two daughters, Sarah and Ireland, two dogs, three cats, and a badly behaved bunny.