Stephen Screnci was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2015. He currently serves as President.
Screnci was introduced to horse racing by a friend. He became an owner in New England in the early 1990s. He began racing in South Florida in 1994. Screnci’s best moments in racing were in 2008 and 2009 when Oilgonewile won two stakes races back-to-back.
Screnci was motivated to run for the Board because he feels his background can help the other directors with today’s challenges. Screnci operates his own law firm in Boca Raton, specializing in contract law.
Screnci also wants to continue increasing purses and working with the breeders in building our state-bred program. Screnci was instrumental in leading the contract committee in negotiations with Gulfstream Park to eliminate the lingering overpayment of the purse account. He was also instrumental in purse increases at both Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West.
Screnci was born in Boston, Mass. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Suffolk University. He received his Juris Doctor from New England School of Law. Screnci lives in Boca Raton, Fla. with his wife Cynthia. They have two children, Lia and Bradley.
Chester A. Bishop is the founder, president and CEO of SuRealty Title, Inc. with locations in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade Counties. He also serves as the Chairman of Housing Foundation of America, Inc. a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that also services the Tri County area.
Mr. Bishop has been a positive force and an advocate in South Florida for affordable housing and for first-time home ownership. He and his firms have conducted numerous home ownership workshops and seminars on local, state and federal housing grant programs. Through his leadership thousands of homeowners have been given assistance that saved their homes from foreclosure.
Mr. Bishop has provided leadership and support services on numerous housing boards and committees.
Mr. Bishop is a former President of the South Florida Board of Realtists. He has served on the board of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence Corporation (HOPE), a private fair housing, not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 corporation established in 1988. It is one of three in Florida dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination and promoting fair housing. He was appointed by the Governor of Florida and served two years on the State of Florida Consumer Commission.
Mr. Bishop served two terms as president of the Broward Housing and Community Development Task Force.
In addition, Mr. Bishop financially supports many charities. He is a charter member of the Kiwanis club of Lauderdale Lakes/West Sunrise and served previously on the City of Hollywood Community Development Block Grant advisory board. This board recommended policies and procedures, adopted local government comprehensive plans, and supported specific actions or initiatives to facilitate affordable housing. He has supported The Homeless Coalition of Broward County, Women In Distress, and Broward Housing Solutions, to name a few. He has provided hundreds of hours of volunteer homeownership counseling assistance to thousands of participants in Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties through various county, city and non-profit programs including the Urban League and the Broward & Miami-Dade Housing Finance authorities.
Mr. Bishop has received numerous awards for his community service including being honored for his community housing activities by the Broward Black Elected Officials at its 2007 Gala. In addition, the Congressional Black Caucus recognized this outstanding community servant. His charitable work was recognized on a national level by Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA), a non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening our neighborhood organizations. He is a Thoroughbred owner and breed and serves as the Vice President of the Florida Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association.
Joe Orseno has been a member of the FHBPA Board of Directors for five years. Orseno is 3rd Vice President and serves as Chairman of the Backstretch Committee.
Orseno grew up in Philadelphia and has always loved sports. He played football, basketball and baseball in high school. His dad loved going to the track and handicapping races. Orseno often tagged along. He started parking cars at Cinelli’s restaurant across the street from Garden State Park Racetrack as a way to make cash during high school. From there, Orseno started working around the barns on weekends.
Orseno started training horses in 1977. In 1997, be became the private trainer for Frank Stronach. In 2000, Orseno won the Preakness with Red Bullet. Later that year, he won two consecutive races on the Breeders’ Cup card. He won the Juvenile with Macho Uno and followed that up with Perfect Sting, the winner of the Filly and Mare Turf. Orseno has amassed over $32 million in earnings, boasting 34 graded stakes wins, 11 of which were Grade I.
Orseno has earned leading trainer titles five different times. One of the highlights of his career was winning five races on a single card at Gulfstream Park. In 2000, he was honored by NY Turf Writers with the C.V. Whitney Achievement Award. Orseno says Macho Uno was the best horse he has trained; Perfect Sting was his personal favorite.
Orseno first became involved in trainers’ meetings at the racetrack to have a voice in improving track safety. He is now very excited to work with the Board. He credits the FHBPA with getting the ball rolling in the right direction to make the racetrack safer and the turf course better.
Orseno has a soft spot for kids and supports many charities including the Special Olympics.
Orseno’s wife, Michelle, is a veterinarian. They have one daughter, Aly. Orseno also has a daughter and son, Shannin and Joseph, and three grandchildren.
Tom Cannell was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2009. He currently serves as Treasurer and is also a member of the Contract and Legislative Committees.
Cannell became a horse racing fan at an early age when he started handicapping races at Waterford Park in West Virginia. His passion for the game brought him his first job in racing, working in the media department at Thistledown in Ohio in 1975.
Cannell’s first win as an owner was in 2006 with Somes Sound. The top horses he has owned include Ode to Sami, Eden is Burning and Mo Cash.
Cannell first ran for the board to make a difference by combining his passion for the game with his business experience. Before retiring, he was the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Insurance before moving on to be Executive Vice President at an insurance company.
Cannell’s main goal as a Board member is to advance the betterment of an industry that seems to be under fire from many fronts. Cannell says fighting for long-term success, growth and prosperity should be the focus when negotiating contracts and other day-to-day operations at the race tracks that affect horses, owners, trainers and fans.
Cannell was born in Cleveland and raised in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He was a four-year starter for the varsity baseball and golf teams. Cannell was an All-Star catcher and was inducted into the Amateur Hall of Fame (Ohio) in 1992.
Cannell lives in Lake Jovita, Dade City, Fla. with his wife, Barbara. They have three children, Sheri, Kris and David. They also have eight grandchildren, Michael, Rebecca, Jacob, Emma, Kyra, Tessa, Nathan and Jolie.
The son of a trainer, Ralph Nicks is a second-generation horseman who began his career as a jockey before returning to work in his father’s stable. The Texas native later worked as an assistant under Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott before starting his own stable in 2004. He picked up his first graded win with Cool Conductor in the 2005 GII Dixie S. at Pimlico.
In 2017, Nicks picked up his first Breeders’ Cup win when Caledonia Road scored a 17.30-1 upset in the GI 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar.
Other notable horses trained by Nicks include Aubby K, Breeze On By, El Caballo, Liam’s Lucky Charm, Seaspeak, Shivaree, Soutache, and Speechify.
David Fawkes is in his sixth year serving on the FHBPA Board. He is a member of the Backstretch and Breeder Liaison Committees.
Fawkes grew up around horses. His family operated a riding stable in Chicago. By age 16, Fawkes started galloping horses for Don Gibbons.
Fawkes started his career as a jockey, winning his first start. He then worked for several trainers on the Chicago circuit before moving to South Florida in the mid ‘90s.
In 1998, he opened Fawkes Racing Stable. Since then, he has saddled more than 900 winners with more than $32 million in earnings, including numerous stakes wins. In 2010, he trained Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Big Drama. Fawkes also trained Big Drama’s half-brother, Sheer Drama, winner of three Grade I stakes. One of his favorite horses he has trained was Duke of Mischief. Fawkes describes him as a “very cool horse.”
Fawkes is a supporter of the Miami Spine Institute charity.
Fawkes’ main concerns as an FHPA Board member are safety of the track for horses and riders and everyday care of the horses.
Fawkes resides in Davie, Fla. His daughter Natalie has worked as an exercise rider in his stable. She recently became a trainer herself.
Ron Spatz was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2016. He serves on the Backstretch and Breeder Liaison Committees.
Spatz has been in the racing industry for 47 years. His first experience was working at Monmouth Park in the summer of 1971. Spatz has been a full-time trainer for 36 years. He initially started working on the backstretch and in racing departments.
Spatz cites Grated Stakes-winner and Florida-Bred Grass Champion Carterista as his most memorable horse. However, Spatz says, “your best horse is always your last winner.”
His motivation for running for the Board was to help improve an industry that has had such a huge impact on his life. Spatz would like to see purses continue to grow and improve the quality of life for backstretch employees.
Spatz was born in Bayonne, N.J. He is a graduate of Monmouth College. He resides in Plantation, Fla.
Terri Pompay was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2018. She serves on the Backstretch and Breeder Liaison Committees.
Pompay was born in Saratoga Springs, NY. At 16, she started galloping thoroughbreds at Saratoga as a way to support her show jumping horses.
Pompay had the privilege of training Currency Swap, winner of the Grade I Hopeful and Grade II Amsterdam stakes. She says winning those races in front of family and friends was the thrill of a lifetime.
Pompay has a love for all animals. She started raising birds and now has more than 50 monkeys in her care. Her favorite of the bunch is Gemma.
Pompay ran for the Board to become more knowledgeable about this aspect of racing. She also wants to help unite breeders, trainers, owners and racetrack management. Her main goal is to work with racetracks to promote more awareness which in turn will bring in new patrons and owners.
Pompay graduated from Russel Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She lives in Hollywood, Fla. Her son Chance attends Boston University.
Patrick Biancone, a third generation horseman, was born in France. He came to the U.S. in the 1970s and worked as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer LeRoy Jolley before returning to his native country to start his own stable. Biancone trained such notables as G1 Prix du Jockey Club winners Bikala and Hours Along; and the talented All Along and Sagace, who won back-to-back editions of the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1983-84. All Along was also named the Champion Turf Mare and Horse of the Year in the U.S. in 1983.
He moved his base of operation to Hong Kong in the 1990s, winning the Hong Kong Derby in 1993 and 1998. Biancone has been training in the U.S. since 2000, conditioning millionaires Lion Heart, runner-up in the GI kentucky Derby, as well as Diamond Oops, Gorella and Lady of Venice, and Grade I winners Angara, Asi Siempre, Magistretti, Pomeroy and Sense of Style.
Biancone’s assistant trainer is his daughter, Andie.
Kathy Davey was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2010. She currently serves on the Benevolence Committee of Florida Horsemen’s Charitable Foundation.
Davey has followed and participated in racing since she was a teenager. She started by riding and showing hunter/jumper horses. That experience allowed her to begin breaking young horses at the racetrack at an early age. She went on to become an assistant trainer and an owner.
Davey has had two standout fillies in her stable. Andreya’s Reward was a stakes winner and participant in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Race. Annabill was a multiple stakes winner, boasting 18 career wins with over $700,000 in earnings.
Davey ran for the Board to take an active role in promoting the industry and to continue finding ways to improve all aspects of the backside experience. Her aspirations include strengthening relationships with both racetrack management and breeders, to provide ways to increase the number of race horse owners and to provide benefits for backstretch workers and their families.
Davey was born in Winsted, Conn. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degrees in Education Psychology from Penn State University. Davey lives in Hollywood, Fla. with her partner Milt Wolfson, who has a storied career as a trainer in South Florida. Davey has a son and daughter who both reside in Vermont.
Adam Lazarus was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2012. He serves as Chairman of the Election/Nominating Committee and is a member of the Benevolence Committee of Florida Horsemen’s Charitable Foundation.
Lazarus has been a horse racing fan since he was 24 living in Aventura, Fla. He started handicapping and analyzing races. He then learned the ins and outs of racing from his dad’s golfing buddy, trainer Bill Kaplan.
As an owner, Lazarus has won the 2011 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and an Eclipse Award for Champion Filly Sprinter with his horse Musical Romance.
He helps other racing fans enjoy ownership as managing partner of Pinnacle Racing Stable. He created Pinnacle Racing Stable in 2003 with the goal of making ownership an affordable, exciting experience that partners look forward to being a part of.
Lazarus ran for the FHBPA Board to have a better understanding of the business side of racing.
Lazarus was born in New York City. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. He lives in Aventura, Fla.
Troy Levy was elected to the FHBPA Board in 2018. He serves on the Election/Nominating Committee. He was also recently elected to the Board of Directors for Florida TRAC.
Levy first got into racing when his dad took him to Roosevelt Raceway and Belmont Park. He went on to work weekends and summers on the backstretch at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceway. Levy then began training and driving harness horses before becoming an owner.
Levy’s most memorable moment in racing was driving his first winner Cameocomp at Pompano Park in 1991. Levy is now Managing Partner of Tropical Racing partnership.
Levy’s passion for racing led him to run for the Board. He has invested his livelihood as an owner and wants to firmly commit time and resources in supporting Florida horseracing to become unsurpassed as a leader in the industry. Levy believes in improving, promoting and manifesting in horseracing a product that has accountability, responsibility and professional integrity for its horses, caretakers and management. “My long-term goal for the membership is to be able to race successfully in Florida all year, with the prospect of seeing purse monies increase at a sustainable rate and be part of a program that enjoys growth and prosperity,” said Levy. “A flourishing program during a time of what often appears to be industry contraction is going to require considerable effort on the part of all of us. Success will require intelligent marketing and diligent promotion. We will need to be inventive in creating a self-sustaining product and one independent of outside control, which ultimately will make Florida racing powerful and long-lasting.”
Levy was born in Queens, N.Y. He lives in Deerfield Beach, Fla. with his spouse. He has two children, Miranda and Gavin.
Teresa Palmer is serving her fourth term on the FHBPA Board. She is a member of the Benevolence Committee of Florida Horsemen’s Charitable Foundation.
Palmer’s husband, David, introduced her to horse racing and as she proclaims, “the rest is history.” They own Winner’s Circle Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla. They have a 125-acre full-service facility. The property includes a six-furlong track and an equine pool that services broodmares and babies. Their program includes breaking, training and layups. In addition, they consign two-year-olds to various training sales including those in Ocala. It’s truly a family business. Their son Nicholas acquired his trainers license this year, and their daughter Tiffany and son-in-law Evan are an integral part of daily operations at the farm.
Palmer’s top racehorses as an owner include Wild Bout Tiffany, Tesoro de Amor, Cajun Schill and Mr. Livingston, a multiple stakes-winner including the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes.
Palmer says this sport has been a blessing to her family. It’s also had its heartbreaks but she chooses to focus on all the good. One of those moments, was Mr. Livingston’s Miami Mile Breeders’ Cup win at Calder, where he equaled a track record. “He’d had a very long layoff from an injury that most horses don’t make it back from,” said Palmer. “We had a winner’s circle full of friends and family. It was a glorious day, and I will never forget it.”
Palmer’s passion for horses and racing motivated her to run for the Board, “I felt I could help work together alongside other horsemen to make Florida racing second to none.” Palmer is committed to promoting unity, understanding, and respecting for each other’s views and differences while working together for the horses, the good of Florida racing and all involved.
Palmer also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ocala Farm Ministry. She was born in Havana, Cuba and is a graduate of Suncoast High School and Palm Beach State College. She lives in both Jupiter and Ocala, Fla. with her husband, David. They have four children, David, Tiffany, Nicholas and Thomas. They also have three grandchildren, David III, Nicholas II and Aaliyah.