The ACBS 441–Race Track Organization, Structure and Financial Management class educates students about the structure of racing operations. This extends beyond just departments and the responsibilities of key departmental positions and the roles they serve in contributing to the smooth day-to-day operations. Students also learn the qualifications necessary to perform the duties required of the individuals in each department whether it be television and graphics, tote, mutuels, security, or food and beverage management.
The Race Track Industry Program’s Louisville, Kentucky trip during the fall semester included a visit to the Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) offices. The visit gave students a behind-the-scenes look at the Churchill racing operations. They were treated to several presentations from members within CDI that connected the classroom concepts learned in ACBS 441 with their real-world applications.
Mike Ziegler, the Executive Director of Racing for CDI, talked about his 20+ years of industry experience in a variety of positions from his work as Vice President of Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park to Executive Director for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. In his current position at CDI, Mike focuses on the company’s commitment to U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
Ed DeRosa holds the position of Director of Marketing for Brisnet. Brisnet is a provider of handicapping data and information, as well as a place that racing enthusiasts can go to read news related to the horse racing industry. Ed oversees the marketing and the creation of new products as well as content for the web. Ed is a handicapper himself and appears on the Churchill Downs track feed providing the public with his expert picks.
Nate Simon, president of United Tote, and Vic Harrison, the Senior Director of Sales also spoke. United Tote has been a supplier of pari-mutuel products and services serving the pari-mutuel industry since 1959. Churchill Downs acquired United Tote in 2010 and has overseen United Tote’s continued innovation of wagering technology products for the racing industry. It was fascinating to learn about and see the United Tote hub at the corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky.