Joe Orseno has been a member of the FTHA Board of Directors for five years. Orseno is interim President and serves as Chairman of the Backstretch Committee, as well as serving on the Executive, Aftercare and Benevolence Committees.
Orseno grew up in Philadelphia and has always loved sports. He played football, basketball and baseball in high school. His dad loved going to the track and handicapping races. Orseno often tagged along. He started parking cars at Cinelli’s restaurant across the street from Garden State Park Racetrack as a way to make cash during high school. From there, Orseno started working around the barns on weekends.
Orseno started training horses in 1977. In 1997, be became the private trainer for Frank Stronach. In 2000, Orseno won the Preakness with Red Bullet. Later that year, he won two consecutive races on the Breeders’ Cup card. He won the Juvenile with Macho Uno and followed that up with Perfect Sting, the winner of the Filly and Mare Turf. Orseno has amassed over $32 million in earnings, boasting 34 graded stakes wins, 11 of which were Grade I.
Orseno has earned leading trainer titles five different times. One of the highlights of his career was winning five races on a single card at Gulfstream Park. In 2000, he was honored by NY Turf Writers with the C.V. Whitney Achievement Award. Orseno says Macho Uno was the best horse he has trained; Perfect Sting was his personal favorite.
Orseno first became involved in trainers’ meetings at the racetrack to have a voice in improving track safety. He is now very excited to work with the Board. He credits the FTHA with getting the ball rolling in the right direction to make the racetrack safer and the turf course better.
Orseno has a soft spot for kids and supports many charities including the Special Olympics.
Orseno’s wife, Michelle, is a veterinarian. They have one daughter, Aly. Orseno also has a daughter and son, Shannin and Joseph, and three grandchildren.
Kathy Davey was elected to the FTHA Board in 2010. She currently serves as Chair of the Office and Scholarship Committees, and serves on the Benevolence and Legislative Committees.
Davey has followed and participated in racing since she was a teenager. She started by riding and showing hunter/jumper horses. That experience allowed her to begin breaking young horses at the racetrack at an early age. She went on to become an assistant trainer and an owner.
Davey has had two standout fillies in her stable. Andreya’s Reward was a stakes winner and participant in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Race. Annabill was a multiple stakes winner, boasting 18 career wins with over $700,000 in earnings.
Davey ran for the Board to take an active role in promoting the industry and to continue finding ways to improve all aspects of the backside experience. Her aspirations include strengthening relationships with both racetrack management and breeders, to provide ways to increase the number of race horse owners and to provide benefits for backstretch workers and their families.
Davey was born in Winsted, Conn. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degrees in Education Psychology from Penn State University. Davey lives in Hollywood, Fla. with her partner Milt Wolfson, who has a storied career as a trainer in South Florida. Davey has a son and daughter who both reside in Vermont.
Originally from Brooklyn, David Rousso relocated to South Florida 15 years ago, but he has been a horse owner for more than 35 years. He purchased his first racehorse in 1985, and celebrated his 100th win during the 2021-22 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park. Rousso spent 30 years as an oil trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Now retired, he still is active in the stock market. It was through friends at the Mercantile Exchange that Rousso became involved in horse racing. He currently has five horses in his stable. The best horse he has owned to date is stakes-placed Oasis at Midnight, who is now his one-horse broodmare band. She has produced five foals to date.
Rousso was elected to the FTHA Board for the first time in 2022. As for the decision to run for the Board, he said, “I would like to bring some of my business experience to the horsemen of Gulfstream Park. These are very trying times for the racing industry and I’d like to be able to help all owners, trainers, jockeys and backside staff get together to bring our ideas to management to make Gulfstream Park the premier racing facility in the country.”
Rousso lives in Aventura. Son Justin resides in Boston, and daughter Lindsay lives in Aventura and works as part of the Horsemen’s Hospitality team at Gulfstream Park.
Tom Cannell was elected to the FTHA Board in 2009. He currently serves as Treasurer and is also a member of the Executive, Breeders, By Laws, Communication/Social Media, Contract and Election Committees.
Cannell became a horse racing fan at an early age when he started handicapping races at Waterford Park in West Virginia. His passion for the game brought him his first job in racing, working in the media department at Thistledown in Ohio in 1975.
Cannell’s first win as an owner was in 2006 with Somes Sound. The top horses he has owned include Ode to Sami, Eden is Burning and Mo Cash.
Cannell first ran for the board to make a difference by combining his passion for the game with his business experience. Before retiring, he was the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Insurance before moving on to be Executive Vice President at an insurance company.
Cannell’s main goal as a Board member is to advance the betterment of an industry that seems to be under fire from many fronts. Cannell says fighting for long-term success, growth and prosperity should be the focus when negotiating contracts and other day-to-day operations at the race tracks that affect horses, owners, trainers and fans.
Cannell was born in Cleveland and raised in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He was a four-year starter for the varsity baseball and golf teams. Cannell was an All-Star catcher and was inducted into the Amateur Hall of Fame (Ohio) in 1992.
Cannell lives in Lake Jovita, Dade City, Fla. with his wife, Barbara. They have three children, Sheri, Kris and David. They also have eight grandchildren, Michael, Rebecca, Jacob, Emma, Kyra, Tessa, Nathan and Jolie.
David Fawkes is in his sixth year serving on the FTHA Board. He is a member of the Aftercare, Backstretch and Benevolence Committees.
Fawkes grew up around horses. His family operated a riding stable in Chicago. By age 16, Fawkes started galloping horses for Don Gibbons.
Fawkes started his career as a jockey, winning his first start. He then worked for several trainers on the Chicago circuit before moving to South Florida in the mid ‘90s.
In 1998, he opened Fawkes Racing Stable. Since then, he has saddled more than 900 winners with more than $32 million in earnings, including numerous stakes wins. In 2010, he trained Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Big Drama. Fawkes also trained Big Drama’s half-brother, Sheer Drama, winner of three Grade I stakes. One of his favorite horses he has trained was Duke of Mischief. Fawkes describes him as a “very cool horse.”
Fawkes is a supporter of the Miami Spine Institute charity.
Fawkes’ main concerns as an FTHA Board member are safety of the track for horses and riders and everyday care of the horses.
Fawkes resides in Davie, Fla. His daughter Natalie has worked as an exercise rider in his stable. She recently became a trainer herself.
Mr. Gerardo Amado, a third-generation horseman native to Venezuela, loves his horses ‘as his kids.’ After picking up intimate knowledge and a love for racehorses from his grandfather (a breeder) and father (a trainer/breeder) through experience on their Venezuelan farm, Mr. Amado relocated to South Florida.
Mr. Amado arrived in the US with almost nothing; it was his focus, drive, and commitment that allowed him to succeed. His passion for horse-racing remained at the forefront of his mind, but understanding that these majestic creatures do not comprehend “working for money,” he refused to enter the racehorse business until independently successful enough not to depend on winnings to cover expenses. He has always believed in the importance of providing horses with the food, rehab, and rest necessary to lead happy, healthy lives; recently, he refused to put down an injured racehorse, Velocissima, against veterinarian recommendations–a beautiful horse who has now made a miraculous recovery and returned to racing.
After the passing of his father-in-law, Mr. Amado realized it was time to follow his father’s lead and fulfill his dream of training again. Since the claiming of his first horse, Mystical Moon, two years ago, Mr. Amado has purchased/claimed 30 horses, has his own training operation in Gulfstream, and a training/breeding operation on his 40-acre horse farm in Williston, FL.
As a member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Amado’s passion for the humane treatment of horses–and his first-hand experience as a trainer and owner–will guide his efforts to expand Florida’s horse-racing industry. He feels that working to improve conditions for horses, trainers, and owners will incentivize Florida-bred operations to remain in-state, allowing FTHA to take advantage of Florida’s climate by holding higher-stake races year-round. Taking these steps would support the economic, humanitarian, and promotional goals outlined in FTHA’s purpose statement.
Mr. Amado’s firsthand experiences with breeding, training, and loving horses, combined with his dedication to advocating for humane treatment, will make a strong addition to the Board of Directors. As a bilingual businessman, Mr. Amado is excited to support FTHA’s efforts to expand outreach throughout the state of Florida.
Mr. Amado presently lives in Pembroke Pines, FL with his wife, two sons, two nephews, two nieces, and four rescue dogs. He runs Ironclad Farm in Williston, FL, EAC Racing Stable at Gulfstream, and two successful companies in other fields.
Patrick Biancone, a third generation horseman, was born in France. He came to the U.S. in the 1970s and worked as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer LeRoy Jolley before returning to his native country to start his own stable. Biancone trained such notables as G1 Prix du Jockey Club winners Bikala and Hours Along; and the talented All Along and Sagace, who won back-to-back editions of the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1983-84. All Along was also named the Champion Turf Mare and Horse of the Year in the U.S. in 1983.
He moved his base of operation to Hong Kong in the 1990s, winning the Hong Kong Derby in 1993 and 1998. Biancone has been training in the U.S. since 2000, conditioning millionaires Lion Heart, runner-up in the GI kentucky Derby, as well as Diamond Oops, Gorella and Lady of Venice, and Grade I winners Angara, Asi Siempre, Magistretti, Pomeroy and Sense of Style.
Biancone’s assistant trainer is his daughter, Andie.
Biancone serves on the Aftercare and Backstretch Committees.
Chester A. Bishop is the founder, president and CEO of SuRealty Title, Inc. with locations in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade Counties. He also serves as the Chairman of Housing Foundation of America, Inc. a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that also services the Tri County area.
Mr. Bishop has been a positive force and an advocate in South Florida for affordable housing and for first-time home ownership. He and his firms have conducted numerous home ownership workshops and seminars on local, state and federal housing grant programs. Through his leadership thousands of homeowners have been given assistance that saved their homes from foreclosure.
Mr. Bishop has provided leadership and support services on numerous housing boards and committees.
Mr. Bishop is a former President of the South Florida Board of Realtists. He has served on the board of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence Corporation (HOPE), a private fair housing, not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 corporation established in 1988. It is one of three in Florida dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and promoting fair housing. He was appointed by the Governor of Florida and served two years on the State of Florida Consumer Commission.
Mr. Bishop served two terms as president of the Broward Housing and Community Development Task Force. In addition, Mr. Bishop financially supports many charities. He is a charter member of the Kiwanis club of Lauderdale Lakes/West Sunrise and served previously on the City of Hollywood Community Development Block Grant advisory board. This board recommended policies and procedures, adopted local government comprehensive plans, and supported specific actions or initiatives to facilitate affordable housing. He has supported The Homeless Coalition of Broward County, Women In Distress, and Broward Housing Solutions, to name a few. He has provided hundreds of hours of volunteer homeownership counseling assistance to thousands of participants in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties through various county, city and non-profit programs including the Urban League and the Broward & Miami-Dade Housing Finance authorities.
Mr. Bishop has received numerous awards for his community service including being honored for his community housing activities by the Broward Black Elected Officials at its 2007 Gala. In addition, the Congressional Black Caucus recognized this outstanding community servant. His charitable work was recognized on a national level by Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA), a non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening our neighborhood organizations. He is a Thoroughbred owner and breeder.
Mr. Bishop serves on the Florida HBPA’s Breeders and Communication/Social Media.
The President of Arindel Farm, Brian Cohen is the son of owner/breeder Alan Cohen, former owner of the Florida Panthers. Brian attended Florida State University and Nova Southeastern University before joining his father in the Panthers organization. “I was shadowing my Dad – he has been my professor,” he said. The racing stable initially held less interest, but when Alan Cohen stepped back from running the hockey team in 2009, things changed.
“I started hanging out with the horse people, and I was hooked,” Brian said. “I was out at the barn every morning. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Brian is hands on with the horses at Gulfstream Park and at the 550-acre farm in Marion County. His brother Brandon handles the finances. Also part of the Arindel team is Brian’s fiancee, Fanny, who is an exercise rider. The two welcomed their first child, Noah, in February of 2022.
Arindel was leading owner at the 2021 Spring/Summer and Fall Meets at Gulfstream. Top horses include champion Wait A While and graded winners Cookie Dough and Safari Queen. In addition to the racing operation, Arindel has a broodmare band of 65 horses.
For 30+ years Jonathan Green has managed one of the largest multi-state racing and breeding stables in the country – the majority of their horses race year-round on the NYRA circuit.
Jon’s racing operation, D.J. Stable, campaigns claimers and Graded Stakes performers, so he thoroughly appreciates the importance of all levels of racing. In addition, Jon’s breeding operation has resident mares in New York, so he is well versed in the state’s breeding rules and recognizes the value of that program.
Aside from his extensive industry involvement, Jon believes that his professional experience has provided him with the necessary skill set of how to work with a variety of personalities, while negotiating and collaborating with others.
Jon is a Certified Financial Planner™ and is familiar with evaluating financial statements and understands how to “follow the money.” He recently sold his financial planning firm – with over 2,000 clients – to devote more time towards the thoroughbred industry.
Finally, as a regular host on the TDN Writers’ Room Podcast, Jon has a unique, National platform to promote New York racing and breeding
Adam Lazarus was elected to the FTHA Board in 2012. He serves as President of Florida TRAC and Chair of the Aftercare and Communication/Social Media Committees and is a member of the Backstretch, By Laws, and Election Committees.
Lazarus has been a horse racing fan since he was 24 living in Aventura, Fla. He started handicapping and analyzing races. He then learned the ins and outs of racing from his dad’s golfing buddy, trainer Bill Kaplan.
As an owner, Lazarus has won the 2011 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and an Eclipse Award for Champion Filly Sprinter with his horse Musical Romance.
He helps other racing fans enjoy ownership as managing partner of Pinnacle Racing Stable. He created Pinnacle Racing Stable in 2003 with the goal of making ownership an affordable, exciting experience that partners look forward to being a part of.
Lazarus ran for the FTHA Board to have a better understanding of the business side of racing.
Lazarus was born in New York City. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. He lives in Aventura, Fla.
Teresa Palmer is serving her fourth term on the FTHA Board. She is Chair of the Election Committee and a member of the Benevolence, Breeders and Legislative Committees.
Palmer’s husband, David, introduced her to horse racing and as she proclaims, “the rest is history.” They own Winner’s Circle Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla. They have a 125-acre full-service facility. The property includes a six-furlong track and an equine pool that services broodmares and babies. Their program includes breaking, training and layups. In addition, they consign two-year-olds to various training sales including those in Ocala. It’s truly a family business. Their son Nicholas acquired his trainers license this year, and their daughter Tiffany and son-in-law Evan are an integral part of daily operations at the farm.
Palmer’s top racehorses as an owner include Wild Bout Tiffany, Tesoro de Amor, Cajun Schill and Mr. Livingston, a multiple stakes-winner including the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes.
Palmer says this sport has been a blessing to her family. It’s also had its heartbreaks but she chooses to focus on all the good. One of those moments, was Mr. Livingston’s Miami Mile Breeders’ Cup win at Calder, where he equaled a track record. “He’d had a very long layoff from an injury that most horses don’t make it back from,” said Palmer. “We had a winner’s circle full of friends and family. It was a glorious day, and I will never forget it.”
Palmer’s passion for horses and racing motivated her to run for the Board, “I felt I could help work together alongside other horsemen to make Florida racing second to none.” Palmer is committed to promoting unity, understanding, and respecting for each other’s views and differences while working together for the horses, the good of Florida racing and all involved.
Palmer also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ocala Farm Ministry. She was born in Havana, Cuba and is a graduate of Suncoast High School and Palm Beach State College. She lives in both Jupiter and Ocala, Fla. with her husband, David. They have four children, David, Tiffany, Nicholas and Thomas. They also have three grandchildren, David III, Nicholas II and Aaliyah.
Terri Pompay was elected to the FTHA Board in 2018. She is Chair of the Breeders Committee, and serves on the Office and Scholarship Committees.
Pompay was born in Saratoga Springs, NY. At 16, she started galloping thoroughbreds at Saratoga as a way to support her show jumping horses.
Pompay had the privilege of training Currency Swap, winner of the Grade I Hopeful and Grade II Amsterdam stakes. She says winning those races in front of family and friends was the thrill of a lifetime.
Pompay has a love for all animals. She started raising birds and now has more than 50 monkeys in her care. Her favorite of the bunch is Gemma.
Pompay ran for the Board to become more knowledgeable about this aspect of racing. She also wants to help unite breeders, trainers, owners and racetrack management. Her main goal is to work with racetracks to promote more awareness which in turn will bring in new patrons and owners.
Pompay graduated from Russel Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She lives in Hollywood, Fla. Her son Chance graduated from Boston University in 2019.
I have been passionate about thoroughbred horse racing for over 60 years. Since I began to follow races as a bettor in 1962, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with people working in all aspects of the sport, including trainers, grooms, jockeys, owners, and everyone in the backstretch. An owner myself since 1999, I care deeply for the well-being of the horses and all of those in the racing community.
I have always been passionate about supporting my communities with a common sense approach and a commitment to doing the right thing. After retiring from my career as an apparel executive, I served as a chairperson on the Architectural Review Board in Roslyn Estates, New York, helping residents navigate neighborhood development regulations. I have always been an active member of horse racing communities in New York and South Florida. After winning the Aqueduct Handicapping contest in 2013, I qualified for and participated in the 2013 NCH Handicapping Contest in Las Vegas in 2013.
I have seen all the great horses of the last 60 years (Dr. Fager is my favorite) and I am committed to fighting tirelessly for horsemen’s rights to ensure a fair and meaningful future for everyone involved in thoroughbred horse racing.
Ron Spatz was elected to the FTHA Board in 2016. He serves on the By Laws and Scholarship Committees.
Spatz has been in the racing industry for 47 years. His first experience was working at Monmouth Park in the summer of 1971. Spatz has been a full-time trainer for 36 years. He initially started working on the backstretch and in racing departments.
Spatz cites Grated Stakes-winner and Florida-Bred Grass Champion Carterista as his most memorable horse. However, Spatz says, “your best horse is always your last winner.”
His motivation for running for the Board was to help improve an industry that has had such a huge impact on his life. Spatz would like to see purses continue to grow and improve the quality of life for backstretch employees.
Spatz was born in Bayonne, N.J. He is a graduate of Monmouth College. He resides in Plantation, Fla.
A native of Massachusetts, Andy Belfiore grew up riding show horses. She started her career in racing on the backstretch at Belmont Park, working as a hotwalker, groom and exercise rider, before joining the Rick Violette stable as assistant trainer. After six years as Violette’s assistant, she moved to the frontside at the track, and spent five years in the communications and marketing departments at NYRA.
Belfiore left NYRA in 1993 to take the post as editor in chief at the Thoroughbred Daily News. During her tenure, the TDN grew from a four-page publication with just a few hundred subscribers to a leader in the Thoroughbred industry. Named Director of Communications for NYTHA in December, 2011, and Executive Director in September, 2015, she was instrumental in the creation of the TAKE2 and TAKE THE LEAD Programs. After two years as a consultant for NYTHA and as Project Manager for the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, she took over as Executive Director of the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association in October of 2021.