Out of the Gate with ... Will Mayer
Will Mayer is an international sales development associate at Keeneland, focusing on bringing foreign interest to the Lexington, Ky.-based operation’s four annual horse auctions. A fan of racing from a young age, Mayer graduated from Transylvania University before taking part in Darley Flying Start, an international training program for future Thoroughbred leaders. The Keeneland September yearling sale is one of the world’s top auctions and is underway now.
Name: Will Mayer
What I do for a living: I oversee Keeneland’s international development program to promote our four annual sales to foreign Thoroughbred owners and breeders.
How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: I’m sure I had been to the races before this, but the time that really stands out was my 12th birthday. I’m lucky to have an April birthday – it falls in the middle of the Keeneland spring meet. My dad took me out of school and we went to the races. I hit an $80 trifecta on the first race and have been hooked ever since.
My favorite racetrack: Keeneland, of course
My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival
Other sports/teams I follow: College basketball and football, University of Kentucky Wildcats
What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: Young people getting involved – both as fans and hopefully as owners. Most of all, I like to see people enjoying themselves.
What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Small-sized fields
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Excitement, tradition and culture
First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Keeneland
Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Sea The Stars
My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: Not really a moment, but definitely the best time I’ve had in this sport was the two years I spent on the Darley Flying Start program. I was fortunate to get to travel the world with 11 young and enthusiastic people and learn from the industry’s leading professionals.
Best racetrack food can be found at: Hipodromo de Las Americas, Mexico City
My favorite jockey: Pat Day
My favorite trainer: Henry Cecil
Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: I really like hearing stories from the old days of racing. I’d have to invite a few: Ted Bassett, Cot Campbell and Dr. John Chandler, among others.
My philosophy on life: Strive for excellence and try to have a little fun
Favorite quote or motto: “Don’t take a baseball bat to a gunfight” – advice from my dad.
Favorite animal other than a horse: Dogs, a particular 10-year-old Golden Retriever named Mattie
Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Tour de France
Favorite food: Mom’s chicken parmesan
Favorite vacation spot: I love skiing so anywhere there are slopes
Favorite city: It’s a tossup. London, Sydney or Paris
Favorite musician/band: Tom Petty
Favorite all-time movie(s): The Usual Suspects
Favorite TV Show: “The Sopranos”
Websites I visit daily: European Bloodstock News
What I drive: Titleists, mostly in the rough
Favorite movie about horse racing: Seabiscuit (the book was better)
Which actor would play me in a movie: Casey Affleck, though my friends joke that it’s Robert Downey Jr. because we have the same deadpan delivery
Alma Mater: Transylvania University
Favorite Radio shows/channels: 100.1 FM in Lexington, Bluesville on SiriusXM
Best book I recently read: “Churchill,” by Roy Jenkins
Favorite Drink: Ale 8, Kentucky’s Soft Drink
Favorite Scent: Really?
What I like about my job: Definitely the international aspect of it. Not just the travel, but also getting to show off Central Kentucky to the foreign visitors who come here.
Favorite Tech gadget: iPhone
Twitter Handle: @wdmayer, I never tweet.
People I follow on Twitter: Mostly friends
No. 1 Bucket List item: To go on safari