- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Matt Bevin revamped the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Wednesday with 11 new members and one holdover, reshaping a group overseeing a signature state industry.

The new members include retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day; Bret Jones, the son of former Gov. Brereton Jones; and Kerry Cauthen with Four Star Sales, a consignor of thoroughbred horses, and the brother of former Triple Crown-winning jockey Steve Cauthen.

Of the Republican governor’s 12 selections, only one member of the former racing commission was reappointed - Dr. David Richardson of Louisville, a horse industry veteran.

Bevin said in a statement that his appointees reflect “the character, competence and commitment traits we need to elevate Kentucky’s horse racing industry.”

The governor’s move came 10 days before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Among former commission members who were removed before their terms expired was Tom Conway, the father of Jack Conway, who lost to Bevin in last year’s gubernatorial election.

Tom Conway’s term had been set to expire in July 2017. But his son told a horse industry group during last year’s campaign that if elected, he would remove his father from the commission due to the appearance it would create.

Bevin’s administration noted that his predecessors as governor, Democrat Steve Beshear and Republican Ernie Fletcher, also reorganized the commission following their elections.

Bevin said the new commission’s responsibilities include promoting racetrack safety, regulating medical practices, recommending tax incentives to strengthen the horse sector and developing programs to keep Kentucky at the forefront of equine research.

Among the former racing commission members, five had terms set to end this July. Five members had terms expiring in July 2017 and five others in July 2018, said Doug Hogan, a spokesman for the state Public Protection Cabinet.

Bevin has moved to remove members from other boards before their terms were up.

Last week, Thomas K. Elliott presided over a state pension board meeting in defiance of Bevin’s order that he step down. Bevin’s choice to fill Elliott’s term looked on from the audience. The board decided to seek an attorney general’s opinion on whether Bevin exceeded his authority by ordering Elliott’s removal.

Bevin recently removed Kentucky Horse Park Commission chairwoman Alston Kerr from her unexpired term and replaced her with Louisville attorney Tandy Patrick.

In revamping the racing commission, the governor appointed Frank Kling of Villa Hills as its chairman. Kling is chairman and CEO of FK Holdings, a multi-national holding company. Kling and his wife are thoroughbred breeders.

Other appointees were:

-John Roach of Lexington, a former Kentucky Supreme Court justice who participated in stallion syndications including Pioneer of the Nile, sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

-Lesley Howard of Lexington, a member of the board of directors of the Gluck Equine Research Center.

-Mark Simendinger of Edgewood, former president of Turfway Park in Florence.

-Doug Hendrickson of Maysville, a former racing commissioner.

-Kenneth Jackson of Lexington, a founding member of the North American Standardbred Breeders Association.

-Gerald Holt of Munfordville, a horse owner and breeder.

-Stuart Brown of Versailles, a veterinarian whose practice specializes in equine reproduction.

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