Robert P. Benoit, 81, a former Southern California thoroughbred racing executive who was associated with Hollywood Park for many years, died Friday of pneumonia at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood after a lengthy illness.
Benoit, who began working in the publicity department at Hollywood Park in the 1950s, became director of publicity in 1969. He eventually was elected to the board of directors and was named chief operating officer and general manager in 1977. He also was instrumental in forming the Race Track Chaplaincy of California.
In 1980, he co-founded and became president of Benoit and Associates, which handles track photography on the Southern California thoroughbred racing circuit.
In 2004, he was named the inaugural recipient of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award for serving the sport with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction.