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Passion and Prestige

Arlington Park Communications | 08/24/2014 #
  • Michael with stakes winner Bold Kitten (Mike Maker barn)

By:  Michael Adolphson, Staff Writer/Media Relations

I grew up in love with racing on the Maryland circuit as a child.  Before I could read a paragraph, I could read a past performance.  Growing up I would save my money working odd jobs to pay for a Blood-Horse subscription and a weekly purchase of the Saturday Daily Racing Form.  It was my passion to read such from front to back and I would soak up all the information - especially recognizing bloodlines/breeding, trainer patterns and jockeys.  I had no idea why… it just seemed innate - and I knew I would never be happy unless it was a huge part of my life.



It wasn’t until after achieving my Public Relations degree that I realized how I could incorporate it into a job in racing.  I got my first big break when I got an internship in the marketing department at Santa Anita Park under legendary horseracing marketing executive Allen Gutterman.  It was during the Breeders’ Cup meet in 2009 and I had the chance to see horses like Goldikova, Zenyatta and Conduit when they were at their best, while working on a hands-on basis with one of the best teams on the planet. 

My next job in racing came when I was offered the Notes Writer position at Arlington for the 2013 meet and after a phenomenal freshman year, I have expanded the position into a media specialist role that encompasses graphic design, newsletter writing, television, social media, analysis and various exciting facets of media.  It has been a unique experience and I feel lucky to be in a position where I can exploit my love of international racing in all the right ways. 

As we lead into what will be my second Arlington Million, I cannot help but resonate excitement.  The fervor I have for the industry on an international level gets not only fulfilled during the lead up and execution of the race(s) of the International Festival of Racing, but I am also able to be a part of a team which knows how to put on a good show and a heck of a party for its legions of racegoers.  I feel lucky to be a part of an excellent team at a beautiful facility and surrounded by people who understand that the extra mile - especially in the media department - is always worth taking and that horseracing deserves every ounce of the passion it receives.  And then some. 

My goals in the industry are to be the best racing media analyst I can and eventually branch out into large racing stable management and bloodstock agency.  It's a life worth living... and every day when I get to work, it feels like those enthralling Saturday mornings when I opened the Racing Form.