track superintendents

Ellis Park Hires Barajas As Track Superintendent; Thompson To Stay On For 70th Year

Javier Barajas, who has tended to horse tracks and courses around the globe, is Ellis Park’s new track superintendent. Glenn Thompson, a veteran of almost 70 years maintaining the track, helped Ellis Park become one of the safest racetracks in the country and will continue to work with Barajas, Ellis management announced. “We now have two of […]

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Longtime Churchill Track Superintendent Butch Lehr Hired At Kentucky Downs

Raymond “Butch” Lehr is Kentucky Downs’ new track superintendent, enlisted to oversee the care of America’s most unique turf course following the retirement of Ron Moore. Lehr became one of the industry’s most-respected and best-known track superintendents during his 30 years in that post at Churchill Downs, where he worked for 46 1/2 years overall […]

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Kirkpatrick & Co. Presents In Their Care: ‘Best Trackman In The Country’ Still Seeks Perfection At 83

Glenn Thompson never cared much for formal education and said he quit school in the sixth grade. When it comes to life experience, the masterful job he has done caring for Ellis Park’s racetrack for the last 69 years merits an honorary degree from any of the nation’s finest universities. Veteran trainer Larry Jones, three-time […]

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McKeever’s History As A Trainer Comes In Handy In Role As Track Super At Louisiana Downs

Billy McKeever, Jr. brings a unique skill set to his role as the highly-respected track superintendent at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The 56-year-old was born in Shreveport and grew up in nearby Benton, La. His late father, Billy McKeever, Sr., was a very successful Louisiana-base trainer. McKeever followed that same path and trained for six years, […]

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Track Superintendent Ken Brown Readying Colonial Downs Surfaces For Reopening

When the first thoroughbred race since 2013 is held at Colonial Downs Racetrack this August, one person in particular will breathe a sigh of relief. Track superintendent Ken Brown, who began his second stint at the New Kent, Va., track in April, is in charge of bringing its two highly regarded racing surfaces back to […]

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Peterson: ‘Something We Don’t Understand’ Underlies Santa Anita Fatalities

Days after he declared the Santa Anita main track “100 percent ready” for racing and training and subsequently two more horses died, racing surfaces consultant Mick Peterson stands by his examination but also believes Santa Anita shutting down the track indefinitely was the right thing to do. “There was no other option at this point, […]

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‘Dr. Phil Of Agriculture’ To Headline Track Superintendents’ Field Day; Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the upcoming Track Superintendents’ Field Day. Please visit to learn more about the event at Charles Town in West Virginia June 24-26. Jolene Brown, 2017 Speaker Hall of Fame inductee, is the 2019 Keynote Speaker. Jolene, often called “The Dr. Phil of Agriculture,” is direct, respectful and generous with her advice […]

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Life Of The Track Superintendent: A Long Day’s Night

A work day in the life of Keeneland track superintendent Javier Barajas is, more accurately, a day and night. A 9 to 5 job? Try more like 5 to 9—as in a.m. to p.m.—but even that doesn’t start early enough. It’s a good thing that Barajas lives in a house on Keeneland property just a […]

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Martinez, Third Generation Track Superintendent, Named To Gulfstream Park

Tony Martinez, a third generation track superintendent, has been named track superintendent at Gulfstream Park. Martinez grew up working at Del Mar, where his grandfather Manuel Martinez was the trackman for decades. Martinez has worked at Sunland Park, Zia Park and was the track superintendent at Bay Meadows at the age of 28. He and […]

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