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JON WHITE NAMED SANTA ANITA ODDSMAKER, REPLACES RETIRED "ICON" JEFF TUFTS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2009)—Santa Anita President Ron Charles announced today that HRTV anchor/analyst Jon White has been named as Santa Anita’s new morning line maker, replacing the recently retired Jeff Tufts, who served in that position from 1974 through this past April. White’s appointment is effective with Oak Tree’s opening on Sept. 30.
“Jeff Tufts was without question one of the great line-makers in the history of this sport,” said Charles. “His sudden retirement caught all of us off-guard and I just want to say how grateful we are here at Santa Anita to have been blessed with a person of his impeccable character and capacity for all of these years. Since 1974, Jeff, in my opinion, set a gold standard for other line-makers around the country.
“Far beyond his status as an icon, Jeff truly helped to anchor some of the greatest years in the history of Santa Anita. His integrity was unquestioned and his line helped to inspire confidence in our customers and in our product. On behalf of everyone who had the pleasure of working with him over the years, we wish Jeff all the best in his retirement”
White, 54, brings a wide breadth of experience to his new position, including a 25-year stint as a handicapper, writer and chart-caller for Daily Racing Form. His varied experience also includes stints as a racing steward in his native Washington and in Idaho.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Jon’s ability and scope available for this very important position,” said Charles. “Jon is well known and well respected. Our customers depend heavily on a solid morning line and we’re confident Jon is going to be providing that. One of the most important facets of the job is the ability to accurately handicap tough maiden races, and we believe that is going to be one of Jon’s greatest strengths.
“He’s obviously got some big shoes to fill, but we think he’s ready and more than capable. We look forward to a long and successful relationship.”
White too, anxiously awaits his new appointment. “To be following a guy like Jeff and to be named to this position at this time, with the Breeders’ Cup returning to Oak Tree this Fall, is quite an honor,” said White.
White has previously served as the morning line-maker at several tracks, including Fairplex Park in Southern California. He also made the odds for the Los Angeles Times for all races run at Oak Tree, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar from 1982 through 1990.
White noted that each race presents a fresh challenge. “I consider making a morning line an art,” he said. “When I make a line, my first goal is to try and have the right favorite. My second goal is to come as close as I possibly can to matching the favorite’s final price. My final objective is to come as close as I can to matching the actual price of the winner if the winner is not the favorite.”
In addition to his current duties at HRTV, White will continue to assist fans with his “Handicappers’ Helper” comments and selections in each day’s racing program at Oak Tree and Santa Anita.
Oak Tree will celebrate its 40th anniversary season beginning Wednesday, Sept. 30. First post time is set for 1 p.m. For additional information, fans are encouraged to visit www.oaktreeracing.com, or to call (626) 574-RACE.