Now for The Infield’s #1 Moment of the Decade:
2009 Symposium on Racing & Gaming
For 10 years, I had only experienced racing as a fan, standing in the infield or as a railbird, or even as a vicious bench-warmer at the paddock. At the Symposium, I was part of the action: hostess, reporter, photographer, student attendee! I talked promoting racing to new fans with Churchill Downs’s chief marketing officer, met Mike Smith & got his autograph, worked the registration booth and checked in many of the speakers, had cocktails with exhibitors and fellow students…
The Symposium is really just the climax of a 5-month memorable moment marathon. The reason I felt like I’d wasted so much time this decade is because I can’t believe it has taken me so long to find the place, the program and the people who care about the sport as much as I do. I have classes on racing regulation! Exams about track configuration! Projects on odds calculations! Field trips to Turf Paradise! Guest lecturers whom I’ve read about for years in the Blood-Horse! Professors who own thoroughbreds, have first-hand experience as a racing secretary or have run a state racing commission! I have learned so much and now feel empowered to make an impact on the world.
As the calendar flips to 2010 and a new decade begins, I find myself at the cusp of a career in racing, with a full field of new friends and several prospects for internships and future employment. I’ve finally got an answer to the question my high school guidance counselor asked me 10 years ago:
What Career Track Are You On?