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The Notebook September 11, 2013


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

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