Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.

The Board

The Board

Michael F. Amo (Chair)Central Valley, NY

Michael Amo has been a Thoroughbred horseracing enthusiast for over 30 years. He was first introduced to the sport by a friend who took him to the 1978 Belmont Stakes. He was soon hooked. Traveling the country attending racing meets became his regular vacation away from a career as a hospital administrator. In the early eighties he took-up temporary residence in Saratoga Springs for the summer meets. In 2000 he bought a second residence, walking distance from the Clubhouse entrance to the Saratoga Race Course. He has served on the Board of a number of not-for-profit organizations. He is co-owner of a health care consulting business and a published author. He is an elected County Legislator in Orange County, New York since 1998 serving on a range of statutory committees including the Legislature’s Off-Track Betting Committee. The combination of his love for racing, management skills, not-for-profit experience and political acumen lead to his co-founding of ThoroFan.

Barry A. Bornstein — Aiken, SC

Prior to recent retirement, Barry Bornstein served more than three decades in the not for profit field, holding positions such as Sr. Vice President, Easter Seal Society of NJ; Executive Director, New Jersey Network (PBS) Foundation; President & CEO, NY Special Olympics; and President & CEO, CJ Foundation for SIDS. He is presently a Board Member of Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs.

He is a founding member and Partner, Mosaic Racing Stable. As a life time professional photographer, he has been the Director of Photography for the ThoroFan website, and has been published in several publications and media.

Brent Comer — Lexington Kentucky

Brent Comer is the Medical Care and Layup Manager at Stonestreet Farms in Lexington Ky. Brent brings a wide and varied background of knowledge from almost every aspect of the equine/racing industry. His interest in horses began as a teenager at a local riding stable. While he enjoyed spending his days on horseback his thirst to learn grew leading him to work local Thoroughbred sales at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton. It was during this time he would discover his passion for the racing industry. From there he would go on to seek employment at the world renowned Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital where he would work as a clinician technician and expand his equine medical knowledge by assisting world class clinicians and equine specialists. Throughout his time there he was able to experience a variety of things first hand including the 2010 FEI World Equestrian games. Prior to his current position, Brent also worked for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. While the sport of Thoroughbred racing has become one of his main loves Brent still enjoys working with his own horses and trail riding with his wife.

Niki Lee Rowe (Secretary)Saratoga Springs, NY

Niki Lee Rowe enjoys a professional career as a Licensed New York State Mental Health Counselor and has served as a trained mediator in both California and New York and serves as an arbitrator for the State of New York. She is also a consultant and a nationally published author and has co-founded and served on the boards of several successful national not-for-profit organizations and now serves on the New York State Dispute Resolution Association Board.

However, horses have always been her passion. She had her first leg-up at 10 years-old seriously riding hunters and jumpers and dressage horses until the 1960’s when she found her first job in Thoroughbred racing as an exercise rider at Bowie race track, in Maryland. Soon after, she turned down an offer to become a jockey. Her experience extends from exercise rider and pony girl at New York, Maryland and New Jersey tracks to breaking babies and raising her own children on California breeding farms. She is an avid handicapper, and travels the country regularly in order to visit and experience every track she can. She never gets over the excitement of putting her foot on the grounds of a new track to watch those magnificent creatures we call Thoroughbreds. This love of the breed and the sport brought her to the understanding of the need for a cooperative organization such as ThoroFan.

Niki is a co-founder of ThoroFan having served as Treasurer and now as Secretary to the Board. She is also the chair of the Chapter Relations Committee working to support the fantastic fans who are working to organize and grow ThoroFan chapters across the country.

Alec Stais — New York, New York

Alec is a long time New York resident and racing enthusiast. He works in the finance industry and shares his love of horse racing with his wife Elissa and daughter Beatrix.

Joanne Dittes Yepsen Board Member EmeritisSaratoga Springs, NY

Joanne Yepsen is a management professional with proven capabilities in fundraising, marketing, strategic planning, board relations, personnel and fiscal management. She is President and owner of a consulting business which focuses on helping not-for-profits with capital and development campaigns. She is an active volunteer in the Saratoga Springs community, and sits on the Boards of Directors of numerous organizations. She was first elected to the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors in 2005, and was reelected in 2007 and again in 2009. Her passion for Thoroughbred racing was heightened through her efforts to preserve the historic Saratoga Race Course and to assure that the New York racing franchise was awarded to the best entity for her city and county. Through this activism she saw the need for organizing racing fans, not just in New York but throughout the country. As a result she became a founding Board member of ThoroFan.


Advisory Board

Bob Giordano Engineer - Project Manager & Evaluator

BSEE, Bucknell University. Bob brings to ThoroFan 40+ years experience as an engineer, project manager and and program evaluator with international experience. He also brings experience with non-profits, serving on the Board of Directors for organizations such as the Saratoga Springs, NY Preservation Foundation and serving on the Saratoga Transportation Alternative Committee. His involvement with horses extends his lifetime. He offers his volunteer services to groups such Saratoga Bridges, ARC, Dressage Festival since 1990 and is an inaugural member of the NYRA Hospitality Team at Saratoga Race Course. He is currently serving as Vice President of the New York Horse Park Board of Directors.

Jack Knowlton Sackatoga Stable, LLC


Jack Knowlton has been the Operating Manager of Sackatoga Stable since 1995, serving as the racing manager for over 20 racehorses, including 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide. Jack contributes his talents to the thoroughbred racing community at a national as well as New York State level. He served as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing in NY from 2005 to 2007 and currently serves on NY State’s Task Force on Retired Race Horses. Jack is active in fundraising for horse retirement. A resident of Saratoga Springs since 1984, he is President of the health care consulting firm Empire Health Advisors.

Richard Migliore Jockey

Winner of the George Woolf Award 2008

Richard Migliore won the Eclipse Award as the top apprentice rider in 1981. He was the regular rider of the two top NY-bred horses ever: Thunder Rumble & Fourstardave. In 2008 Mig was the recipient of the George Woolf Award and in the same year took his first Breeders’ Cup victory aboard Desert Code. A great rider and an even greater spokesman for the racing industry.

Nick P. Zito Hall of Fame trainer

Hall of Fame trainer with victories in two KY Derbies, two Belmont Stakes, two Whitney Handicaps, a two-year-old champion and other successes too many to list. A protégé of recently deceased John Hettinger, Nick along with his wife Kim give tireless effort toward ending horse slaughter. Nick is an advocate of dirt tracks and filled grandstands. A better friend to racing or more adamantly motivated fan of the sport cannot be found.

Special Founding Members

  • Michael Amo, Central Valley, NY
  • Sara Bannin, Banhem Associates Corp., Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Pamela Hemmings, Banhem Associates Corp., Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Marilyn Lane, Simply Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Niki Lee Rowe, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Joanne Dittes Yepsen, Supervisor, Saratoga Springs, NY


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