Mitch Gerson is in his third year working at Rillito Park and the Paribet Racetrack Industry Student Experience (PRISE). In 2016, Gerson operated the photo finish camera and filled in when needed as a public handicapper. Last racing season, Gerson was made full time public handicapper and co-hosted handicapping seminars before and between the races on race days. He also expanded his experience by assisting trainer Tim Abraham with his six Thoroughbreds.
This year, Gerson still co-hosts handicapping seminars before the day's races, but his main job is creating the races' charts for Equibase. He collects and records all the important information from the races including the horses' running positions, the races' mutuel information, and purse distribution.
“I'm really enjoying my experience chart calling the Rillito races.” said Gerson. “Ever since I learned about the sport, I've been watching replays and making trip notes for handicapping purposes. I feel that experience has helped me quickly learn this job.”
Gerson caught the “racing bug” as a teenager and grew up as a racing fan and handicapper. During the summers of 2013 and 2014, in between collegiate semesters at the University of North Florida, Gerson worked as a hot-walker for Thoroughbred trainer Charles Simon at Monmouth Park.
“Chuck taught and helped me a lot. Being an alumnus of the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program, he always encouraged me to join the RTIP,” Gerson said.
Gerson took Simon's advice and transferred to the University of Arizona. That decision paid immense dividends almost immediately. In the summer of 2016, his first as an RTIP student, Gerson interned with Todd Pletcher Racing Stables and hot-walked for him at Saratoga Race Course.
“It was quite an experience being a part of large and prestigious racing stable and working with the highest quality of horses in the country.” Gerson said. “I was privileged to work with graded stakes horses like Tapwrit, Curalina, Comfort and Protonico.”
Last summer, Gerson worked for Kiaran McLaughlin and managed the equine therapy treatments at Godolphin's Greentree Training Center.
“I would manage six to eight spa treatments a day, as well as assist the foremen with their morning and afternoon duties.”
Gerson plans on returning to Greentree in the summer of 2018 and hopes to work in the training side of the industry upon graduating from the University of Arizona.
PariBet LLC, an advanced deposit wagering service, is again partnering with Rillito Park Racetrack to sponsor students in the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program to work in various positions at the track during its 2018 winter season. In turn, the students contribute a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise to the meet.
To learn more about the Race Track Industry Program, visit ua-rtip.org.
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