“Why Racing” with Trainer Matt Shirer


Matt Shirer | Shirer Racing

As part of a new series, we asked a number of people not born into racing families why they got into the sport, and what their first racing memory was.

Why did you get involved in the sport?

I was an animal science major in college, and I was also a competitive person who played sports, so racing was a good combination for me, wanting to do something that blended the two. I was late to the racing game, anyways–I was in my 20s before I ever got to the track, which is a lot different than many other people who end up doing it through family.

What is your earliest racing memory?

The first Derby I really followed was the year Giacomo (Holy Bull) won in 2005. I remember Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality) a year before that, but I only caught that at the end when he was going for the Triple Crown. You get to see the Derby on TV, with all the pageantry, and it looks nice. That’s probably what originally drew me in–it made me want to be a part of it.

We used to go to the Ohio Derby. I’m from around Cleveland, so we’d go up there to watch races. I had no idea what was going on at the time, but I remember being there thinking this is pretty interesting.

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