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Lizza, Schwartz Honored at Saratoga

The memories of two longtime supporters of New York racing were honored Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, as Carl Lizza was posthumously awarded the leading owner trophy for the Belmont Park spring/summer meet and a memorial race was run to honor the late Steve Schwartz, former director of media relations for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).


Prior to the start of racing, NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward presented the leading owner award to Lizza’s widow, Viane, on behalf of her late husband. A special video tribute to Lizza, who bred and raced horses on the NYRA circuit for more than 30 years, was aired before and after the ceremony. At the time of his death on July 8 at the age of 73, Lizza was New York’s top owner in 2011 with 31 victories, including Street Game’s triumph in the Grade 3 Hill Prince on June 18. The leading owner in New York in 2004 and 2005, Lizza’s Flying Zee Stable was among the circuit’s top 10 owners from 2006-2010.


The second race on Saturday’s card was named in memory of Steve Schwartz, who died last November at the age of 64. Schwartz joined NYRA in 1979 as assistant manager of sports publicity and was promoted to director of media relations in 1983, a role he held until 1991, when he left to become media director at The Racing Times. He also served as executive assistant to the president at NYRA.


In a fitting twist, the winner of The Steve Schwartz Memorial was Prize Fighter, a 2-year-old colt who is campaigned by Flying Zee Stable. After the race, Schwartz’s son, Eric, and daughter, Meagan Phillips, joined Viane Lizza and nephew John, for a winner’s circle presentation.

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