My name is Chip McGaughey and I have grown up and lived in Lexington, Ky., for the majority of my life and I graduated from the University of Kentucky. I moved away several times, but there is something about this small Kentucky town that always keeps me coming back. I would have to assume that part of it has to do with the rich tradition of Thoroughbred racing that is prevalent in this city.
Since I was a child, I have been surrounded by the sport at all times being that, with the exception of a select few, all of my family members are involved with Thoroughbreds in some facet or another.
My father is a trainer, so I was fortunate enough to be around champion Thoroughbreds since a young age, and still some of my best memories are of traveling to the top East Coast tracks and witnessing some of the finest races the sport has to offer. This was truly a blessing because I was able to see things around the track from a perspective that the average fan may never get to experience. Those early morning trips to the barn and afternoon visits to the track are what got me hooked on the sport.
CHIP VISITS CHAMPION EASY GOER WITH HIS DAD, SHUG McGAUGHEY
I love the preparation and strategy that goes into getting a horse ready for a race; not simply choosing a race for a horse to run in but selecting one that will set up perfectly to give them the best chance at winning. And almost in the time it takes to blink your eyes, the race has run and, depending on the results, it is on to the next challenge or back to the drawing board. There is truly no better thrill in sports, in my opinion.
GETTING THE ULTIMATE TOUR WITH HALL OF FAME JOCKEY ANGEL CORDERO
After spending so much time in racing, I have been able to see the decline in younger fans at the track. The truth of the matter is that young members of the millennial generation just don’t frequent the track as often as in the past.
Sure, there are the exceptions, such as Keeneland Race Course here in Lexington and Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York, but for the most part the industry is lacking this powerful, younger fan base. Luckily, America’s Best Racing and The Jockey Club have come up with a wonderful initiative to attract these fans, and I could not be happier to be involved with the ABRV in its groundbreaking first year.
The amount of industry support we have received thus far is also very reassuring. With the full support of the industry behind us, I know that we can be successful in making a noticeable difference and attracting a new generation of race fans that will hopefully end up being fans for life.