Courtesy of Ryan Patterson,
Finding an industry that has friendlier and more helpful people than horse racing would be quite a task. I can remember when I first gained interest in racing, and decided to start a blog. Mike Tynan from Curb My Enthusiasm was there to help me every step of the way, and Patrick Patten quickly welcomed me to the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. I'm truly grateful for them, and they are not the only ones who have aided me in the past. I'd like to use this post to thank those who have been integral to my success as a blogger and my future success at the track.

I can remember being greeted by Ed Meyer as I entered the River Downs marketing office for the first time. He swiftly offered me a spot as an intern in spite of my age (I couldn't legally wager at the time). He was there to help me improve my handicapping skills and teach me how the racing works from a business aspect. While it might not be a big thrill for most, I'll never forget when he allowed me to call the horses on the track at River Downs. Ed also let me talk on his weekly radio show several times, and give on track selections over the intercom. I recently had a chance to catch up with Ed at Turfway Park, and he informed of his new internet radio show. Click here to check it out!

John Englehardt is President of the Turf Publicists of America, and Publicity Director at River Downs. I'd also like to thank him. Knowing one of my ambitions is to become an anchor for TVG or a similar horse racing broadcast, John allowed me to appear on his on track handicapping show, The Regular Guy. While I must admit I was a bit nervous, it was a fun experience. My only regret is not picking more winners! When and if I make it to a place like TVG I'll look back fondly at my appearance on The Regular Guy.

I've only met Nick Hines once in person, but he is easily one of the nicest people I've ever met- horse racing industry or otherwise. "The Sarge" as regular viewers of TVG know him truly loves horse racing. I've discussed derby prospects with him on countless occasions, and he has been an endless wealth of information when I need advice. Coauthoring the Breeders Cup Sprint article for HorsePlayer Magazine with him was my first chance to appear in a print magazine, and I'm very thankful for that.  Nick has an excellent eye for horse flesh, and when I buy my first horse he will be the first person I consult.

I don't know if I would still be interested in racing if these people had simply blown me off. At the age of 18, I can say with authority that I will be a racing fan for life. These people are largely responsible for that. When I achieve success in the way that they have, I will think back at how they helped me and do all that I can to give back. With caring people like Mike, Patrick, Ed, John, and Nick involved, horse racing has a bright future on the horizon.

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