Mike Joyce works as a host, handicapper, and reporter for horse racing TV network TVG. The Southern California resident grew up in the Chicago area and graduated from University of Colorado Boulder. Get to know him and his thoughts on horse racing, sports, and life in the fun Q&A below.
What I do for a living: I wear makeup and talk about horses running in circles.
What I like about Thoroughbred racing: When I was in college my roommate was an avid mountaineer. He had a framed poster of K2, the world’s most difficult climb and a more sought-after trophy in the Karakoram range than Mount Everest. The caption beneath stated quite matter-of-factly: “If you have to ask why then you’ll never understand.”
That’s horse racing to its dedicated fans. Its draw is inimitable to the point of being impossible to describe. Going to the track every day could never be replaced.
If I wasn’t in my current job, I would be a: Stooper.
Best advice to someone considering becoming a Thoroughbred owner: Partner up and take advantage of state-bred programs. California particularly has great incentives for Cal-breds.
Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home? Rotate. The Super Bowl doesn’t sit still and I’d love to see it at Belmont again.
My top three favorite racetracks in order: Ruidoso Downs, Del Mar, Hollywood Park
Most influential person in my career: My dad.
My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing: Fire everyone in charge and replace them with Jim Miller.
Other sports/teams I follow: Cubs would be No. 1, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls all vying for No. 2.
My favorite athletes of all time: Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Steve Rothblum
What book(s) I am reading or have recently read: “The Gathering Storm” by Winston Churchill
Favorite magazines: Vanity Fair
Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing: Smoking cigars, downing martinis, tasting wine, and chauffeuring my children around the LBC (not all at once).
Favorite movies: There are dozens ... the original “Star Wars” and everything it spawned. “The Producers,” the original version with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I could go on.
Favorite TV shows I watch: “Trackside Live,” “PTI” and the Cubs game.
Favorite foods: I clearly don’t discriminate.
Favorite vacation spot: Tough one here, I love Bermuda but have only been there once. I love the mountains and miss my ski towns. Jackson Hole, Wyo., would have to be No. 1.
Favorite musician/band: Primus
Favorite actor: George Sanders
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing: Sam the Bugler, Emeritus, Frank Lyons, Her Majesty the Queen
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing: Theo Epstein, the late Christopher Hitchens (Can we go dead here?), Dave Attell
Best racetrack food can be found at: Carved sandwich stand at Santa Anita.
Accomplishment I am most proud of: Evading the authorities for the entirety of my criminal life.
My philosophy on life: Yeah, I haven’t gotten that far yet but I’d say it’s more Groucho Marx than Karl.
Things I collect: Is debt “things?”
Favorite charities: PDJF
Favorite authors: Cormac McCarthy, Nelson DeMille, David McCullough, Erik Larson, Christopher Hitchens
Favorite animal other than a horse: People
Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: "The Flu Game" in the 97 NBA Finals.
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Best gambling product.
Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear: Whatever the wife buys me.
Favorite month of the year: July
What apps are on your phone: You’ll need to ask my kids.
Favorite summer cocktail: Booze.
Favorite winter cocktail: Booze again.
Favorite all-time racehorse: John Henry
Favorite race horse currently competing: Soi Phet
Favorite international racing event: Championships at Royal Randwick
Three ways to attract more fans to the sport: Gambling, gambling, and more gambling.
What do you drive for a car? My mom’s Honda Accord.
What’s your favorite gym exercise? Exiting.
Who will win the Super Bowl this year? Da Bears!
Esports: Yay or nay? What?
Favorite restaurant: Joe Jost’s
Last TV series you binge-watched was: “Boardwalk Empire”
College or pro football: College