David Vance has enjoyed a successful sports management career that has included horse racing, professional basketball, baseball and arena football, as well as an international consulting firm with projects in China, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama and Brazil. He has been inducted into two Halls of Fame; the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame as Vice President and General Manager of the 1975 ABA Champion Kentucky Colonels and also the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame as President and General Manager at Remington Park.
A native Kentuckian, Vance became President of the Kentucky Jockey Club and Latonia Race Course, now Turfway Park, creating the Jim Beam Stakes, the longest running and most successful corporate-sponsored stakes race in North America.
After five years, he joined Edward J. DeBartolo, eventually serving as Executive Vice President of Racing, overseeing the company’s racing operations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Ohio. At the same time, he served as President of Remington Park in Oklahoma City, which was featured in Forbes, Sports Illustrated and ESPN for its innovative “Remington Friendly” customer service and employee training program and for installing Equitrack, the first all-synthetic racing surface in North America.
He became a leader in the Thoroughbred industry, serving as President of the Thoroughbred Racing Association and was named to the Board of Trustees of the New York Racing Association, and also served as Chairman of the American Championship Racing Series on ABC Television.
- Board of Trustees, American Horse Council
- President, Oklahoma Easter Seals
- Advisory Board, United Way
- Board of Governors, Kirkpatrick Cultural Center
- Board of Directors, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
- Oklahoma Horseman of the Year Award
- Executive of the Year, Oklahoma Sales and Marketing Association
- President’s Award, Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association
- Volunteer of the Year, Oklahoma Easter Seals
- Board of Directors, American Heart Association
- Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Christian Businessmen’s Connection
- Board of Advisors, Race Track Chaplaincy of America
- Rotary Club 29
- Board of Advisors, Jim Thorpe Foundation
- Inducted in 2005 with 1975 ABA Champions into Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
- Board of Directors, Oklahoma Children’s Foundation
- Advisory Committee, Coordinator, American Cancer Society Barry Switzer Golf Tournament
- Recognized by Louisville (KY) Sports Commission at Inaugural Sports Legends Open
He also was a founding board member of Equibase, the industry’s international data collection agency and was invited to make presentations on racing to the Japan Racing Association, Societe D’Encouragement French Registry in Paris, the Jockey Club Round Table, and World Gaming Congress in Las Vegas, among others.
In 2011, Remington Park announced the creation of the annual $100,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes.
Vance’s sports management career started as the youngest General Manager in professional basketball when, at the age of 29, he helped direct the Kentucky Colonels to the 1975 American Basketball Association championship. The following year, the ABA merged with the National Basketball Association. While with the Colonels, Vance installed blocked shots as an official game statistic that was later implemented by the NCAA and the NBA.
He was General Manager of the Texas Rangers Triple A affiliate Oklahoma RedHawks in 1997 and Oklahoma City Wranglers of the Arena Football League in 2000 before returning to the Thoroughbred industry as a consultant.
The inaugural David M. Vance Stakes presentation
at Remington Park on September 30, 2011.
Photo: Dustin Orona Photography