Get to Know Breeders' Cup Publicist Jim Gluckson

The Life
Gluckson at Del Mar, host of the 2017 and 2021 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Gluckson at Del Mar, host of the 2017 and 2021 Breeders' Cup World Championships. (Courtesy Jim Gluckson)

New York resident Jim Gluckson works in media relations for Breeders' Cup, horse racing's year-end championship event. Get to know him in the fun Q&A below.

What I do for a living: I am a publicist working in media relations primarily for the Breeders’ Cup, for the Eclipse Awards on behalf of the NTRA , and for other sports clients.

What I like about Thoroughbred racing: The majesty of the Thoroughbred and cashing tickets

If I wasn’t in my current job, I would be a: High school American history teacher

Best advice to someone considering becoming a Thoroughbred owner: Winning just 22 percent of the time is an excellent percentage.

Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home: I have no point of view on this question other than to say that I look forward to excellent renewals of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Keeneland, and Del Mar over the next three years.

My top three favorite racetracks in order: I’ll give you one: Saratoga.

Gluckson at Saratoga
Gluckson at Saratoga (Courtesy Jim Gluckson)

Most influential person in my career: Mike Letis. Mike was the president of Sports Marketing and Television International (SMTI) , which was the first agency of the Breeders’ Cup. He was a great mentor, and gave sage advice on how to handle tough situations.  

My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing: Parlay wager on the winner of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and next year’s Super Bowl.  

Other sports/teams I follow: I suffer greatly following the New York Mets and the New York Jets. I enjoy the NFL, MLB, college basketball, and PGA. 

My favorite athletes of all time: Jim Brown, the greatest football player of all time; Willie Mays; John Havlicek: Although I grew up a Knicks fan, I greatly respected Havlicek, who until Magic and Michael came along, was the NBA’s best all-around player; Jack Nicklaus; Tom Seaver; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Chris Evert; Laffit Pincay Jr. 

What book(s) I am reading or have recently read: Nothing to speak of; I’m buried in periodicals. 

Favorite magazines: Sports Illustrated, Foreign Affairs 

Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing: You mean like stamp collecting or birdwatching? Not me. I enjoy reading online biographies of influential people in history; and the rise and fall of rock ‘n’ roll bands. I am a runner,  but mostly run in months without the letter r in them. 

Favorite movies: Too many to mention, but let’s take a shot: “Citizen Kane,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Ten Commandments,” “The Longest Day,” “The Great Escape,” “The Train” (Burt Lancaster was superb), “Where Eagles Dare,” “The Godfather: Part II,” “The Natural,” “Ordinary People,” “The English Patient,” “Animal House”

Favorite TV shows I watch: “PBS NewsHour,” “Jeopardy” 

Favorite foods: Italian is No. 1. If the warden said, “Son, what’s gonna be your last meal?” I’d order a plate of veal parmesan. 

Favorite vacation spot: Maui 

Favorite musician/band: Again too many to mention, so let’s go with these: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Cream, The Doors, The Who, The Allman Brothers Band, Jethro Tull, U2 

Favorite actor: Classic Era: Jimmy Stewart. Modern: Robert De Niro.

Five websites I visit daily: All of the Thoroughbred trade websites 

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing: If I can make this people in racing history, I would select: Matt Winn, Eddie Arcaro, and Joe Palmer. 

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing: Henry Kissinger, Frances Ford Coppola, Paul McCartney 

Gluckson in the 2017 Kentucky Derby media room.
Gluckson in the 2017 Kentucky Derby media room. (Courtesy Jim Gluckson)

Best racetrack food can be found at: As a publicist, I’ll keep that to myself. 

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Finishing three New York City Marathons 

My philosophy on life: Giving your personal best every day.  

Things I collect: Tickets from plays, concerts, and sporting events 

Favorite charities: Not a few in particular but I do like to contribute to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden – My dad spent time there as a youngster.

Favorite authors: Tom Wolfe, Robert Dallek, David Maraniss 

Favorite animal other than a horse: Elephant 

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Three stand out: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, January 1974 – Madison Square Garden; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, November 1976, Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio;  Sebastian Coe winning the 1500 meters; 1984 Olympics, Los Angeles Coliseum

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Speed, power, majesty

Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear: Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, anything else off the rack

Favorite month of the year: May 

What apps are on your phone: My favorite is Shazzam. Also SkyView (love those planets in the night sky.) 

Favorite summer cocktail: The Madras 

Favorite winter cocktail: None

Favorite all-time racehorse: Forego 

Favorite race horse currently competing: Not one in particular

Favorite international racing event: Royal Ascot

Three ways to attract more fans to the sport: No magic bullets here, but 1) Let first time attendees into the paddock and the winner’s circle; 2) More mystery mutuel vouchers; 3) Let fans vote for “Best Turned Out.”  

What do you drive for a car? I do not own a car. I thrive in mass transit in Manhattan

What’s your favorite gym exercise?  The Abduction machine

Who will win the Super Bowl this year? Los Angeles Rams (Getting the first down on fourth and one to ice the game on Oct. 7 in Seattle was the sign of a winner.)

Esports: Yay or nay? Nay, but we should get on board because by 2022 it will probably be a $2 billion industry. 

Favorite restaurant: Joe’s Stone Crab

Last TV series you binge-watched was: Twilight Zone Marathon on New Year’s Day 

College or pro football: Pro

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