Labor Day and Opportunities
Written by Dr Jim Tunney on September 4, 2018
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 27, 2018, #707…Labor Day and Opportunities
After further review…As we take a moment to give thanks for the opportunity to “labor,” that is, have a job, I recall some 70 years ago my summer job. I was privileged to work as a ticket-taker at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California. It was known then, as it is now, as “Del Mar – where the turf meets the surf.” The turf track was just a few hundred yards from the pounding surf. It was a job between my high school graduation and Occidental College, in Eagle Rock, California. I was looking forward to college, but thankful for a summer job.
My family has been in thoroughbred racing most of my life; not me, except for that ticket-taking opportunity. My father was in thoroughbred racing for 20 years, after he left school administration. He was a steward, having served as a paddock and patrol judge. The stewards are responsible for the proper running of the race, e.g., the locating and calling of infractions, which may occur during the race. My dad, who had never even been on a horse, decided to take this opportunity to improve living conditions for his family. He had 4 children who were college-bound. His brother, Willard, was the first general manager of that Del Mar track.
My brother Peter followed in dad’s footsteps, but on the administrative side. After serving in administration at Del Mar and Hollywood Park (Inglewood, CA. – where the new Los Angeles Rams football stadium is being built), Pete became the general manager at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, CA. where he served for 40 years. My son, Michael worked at Del Mar and other California tracks for 40 years. My uncle, Willard, and his family also worked at Del Mar and other Southern California race tracks.
Except for my dad and Peter, these race track opportunities were mostly part-time positions. We have been very fortunate as well as grateful for these opportunities, but also have an eagerness to delve into something unfamiliar. There are many such racing stories involving owners, trainers, jockeys, and yes, even the thoroughbreds themselves that became successful.
Seabiscuit and other horses, not given a chance to succeed, have risen to great heights. In 2000, Julie Krone, at 4 feet, 10 inches was the first woman to be inducted into National Racing Hall of Fame as well as the first female jockey to win the Belmont Stakes as part of racing’s triple crown.
Will you look for opportunities by expanding your vision?
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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.