Zachary Taylor, a senior within the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, caught the racing bug in an interesting way. While working in the electrical supply industry in his hometown of Fayetteville, Ark., he took customers to Oaklawn Park as part of an annual appreciation weekend. Taylor didn't have much exposure to racing up until that point of his life, but when the bug bit, it bit hard. After careful consideration, he decided his passion lay in horse racing and that he wanted to make a career out of it.
Since joining the Race Track Industry Program, opportunities to be involved in horse racing have been piling up for Taylor.
“The ability to be a part of Breeders' Cup in Del Mar was not something I could have dreamt before I got involved in the program,” Taylor said after working in horsemen's relations the week leading up to the Championships and guest services during the live event days.
Taylor spent this season at Rillito Park in the mutuels department. Before and after the races Taylor worked the money room. During the races, Taylor served as a mutuel clerk and assistant mutuel manager.
“This season at Rillito was amazing. I feel like I have a great grasp on what needs to happen all the way up and down the mutuels department, and I couldn't have said that before the Rillito meet. All credit to the Rillito Foundation, Mike Weiss, Jaye Wells, and Scott Little for opening these doors for us.”
Taylor is also involved in a marketing class tasked with creating awareness about Rillito within the University of Arizona student body, staff and faculty. Along with a targeted advertising campaign, Taylor and company held a “promotion with commotion” on the university mall, complete with a retired racehorse.
Upon graduation, Taylor is excited to see where his new career path will take him. Although he doesn't know in what capacity he'll be working in the industry just yet, he is ecstatic about being an ambassador for the sport.
“One of my favorite parts about the Rillito meet was helping newcomers. They're pretty easy to pick out, and just by talking to them for a few minutes about how everything works can make a world of difference in their racetrack experience. It's a great feeling when they walk away smiling.”
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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