The Coast News Group
Craig Dado, a longtime executive staff member at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, is leaving the organization after more than 20 years.
Craig Dado, a longtime executive staff member at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, is leaving the organization after more than 20 years. Courtesy photo/The Coast News graphic
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Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Dado leaves to start new business

DEL MAR – The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club recently announced that Craig Dado, a member of the club’s executive staff, is leaving the organization after 20 years. Dado will be pursuing his dream of starting his own business right here in Del Mar.

Dado, 54, joined the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club back in 2001 as vice president of marketing. In 2010, Dado was named senior vice president before assuming his current role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer since 2013.

“It was a dream job. That’s the best way I can describe it,” Dado said. “I always wanted to work at Del Mar and I finally pulled it off 20 years ago going to work for Joe Harper, and it was a wonderful 20 years.”

Before Del Mar, Dado had begun his racing career at Santa Anita Park in 1991, working his way up to become the track’s vice president of marketing, but he always had his eye on Del Mar, Dado told The Coast News.

“I was very much interested in sports business, and coming out of undergraduate education, I was a [Certifie Public Accountant], so I love the numbers and all that stuff. And when I was exposed to horse racing, which involves sports marketing, and with all the betting, there are tons of numbers to analyze; I kind of fell in love with it,” he said.

As much as he loved his “dream job,” however, Dado also had a dream of starting his own business, which he’s been working on for three years.

Dado and his partner, Dr. David Chao, started Sports Injury Central, a sports media company that details the injury status of professional athletes to sports-betters and fantasy players.

“As much as I love working at Del Mar, it was time to pursue my own thing. I always wanted to run my own business and this is my opportunity to take a shot,” Dado said.

When asked what he’ll miss most about working at the Club, Dado said Opening Day, one of his favorite days of the year.

“Craig has been a solid contributor to our efforts at Del Mar over the past two decades,” said Joe Harper, DMTC’s CEO. “His intelligence and instincts in the marketing business helped Del Mar rise up in the racing industry and for that, we’ll be forever grateful. We wish him nothing but well as he moves on to other things.”

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