When entering the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, Kietzecume Garcia's original goals were to own, train and breed racehorses. But as he has worked his way through the curriculum, he has come to realize the many moving parts that make up racetrack operations. Garcia has been able to get hands-on experience in various areas of racetrack operations in his two years working at Rillito Park as part of the PariBet Racetrack Industry Student Experience.
Last season, he operated a camera from his perch high atop the front stretch of Rillito Park. This year, he is literally on the move throughout the race day, operating the wireless roaming camera. Garcia films the handicapping show that precedes the races, records the winning connections inside the winner's circle, and captures any special events Rillito Park promotes throughout the meet.
Although he has had no formal training, the coverage that Garcia provides is as professional as any camera operator at any big-box racetrack.
“I get to be in the media room and see how the angles of the cameras affect what the stewards can see. It's important that the video is shot correctly so the stewards can review it for any inquiry or objection. I also enjoy this year's position because it gave me a chance to walk around the track during the races and soak in the environment,” said Garcia.
At the urging of track General Manager Mike Weiss, Garcia also takes entries in the racing office mid-week, between classes, in order to see how races are put together and to get perspective from trainers on where they place their horses.
“It allows me to interact with trainers, jockeys and owners, and to better understand the racing office environment.”
Garcia, a native of the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico, is still interested in training. And his many hands-on RTIP classes have put him into a position to excel in that field. But by experiencing the wide variety of positions available in the world of horseracing, more opportunities are popping up.
“I've always pointed towards training, but my law and regulation enforcement classes have been very enjoyable.”
Regardless of where his journey begins, Kietzecume Garcia has laid an excellent foundation to be successful at anything he chooses to pursue.
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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