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.
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
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.
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.