I'm writing to offer my thanks for the article you posted recently featuring Dora Delgado. Timely, yes and helpful to learn more about her thinking on diversity, equity and inclusion within our sport.
It also hit home for me as my father was one of three black trainers actively campaigning in Chicago during the 1970s – 1990s. Mr. Clifford Scott, Paul Darjean and my father, Clenon Brown.
I've enjoyed the sport since age three, when my father started teaching me how to read the DRF, he noted, before I could read a book–a skill that still pays every now and then today (smile).
My father first got the bug by traveling to Ak-Sar-Ben with friends on weekends in the early 70s, which led to him buying a few claimers and racing in Floria and Chicago. Kansas City was home for us, but no pari-mutuel wagering laws on the books prevented him from enjoying the sport in Missouri.
Later, he moved into the sport full-time and began pursuit of his trainer's license which he secured in Kentucky in the early 1980s. After that, he was off to the races, training in Kentucky, and Chicago.
Living in Missouri with my mother afforded me the chance to spend summer and winter breaks at Arlington, Hawthorne and Sportsman's Park, mucking stalls, feeding our horses and those of our 'day horses' all the while soaking up the backstretch culture. In the meantime, my mother became an executive within state government in Missouri, and at home I grew up amongst legislators, governors and attended school with their children.
In my journey, I've served in the military and have made a career as an executive in charge of efforts by firms in the top echelon of the Fortune 500 in their diversity, equity and inclusion practices. My passion remains in Thoroughbred racing and hope that through this note I can raise my profile in the conversation underway. I think I can contribute value to stakeholders as we continue to invest in the sport, ensuring its future, leaning on lessons learned from its past.
Change is the only constant in business; as much as the sport leans on year-on-year consistency, its front, middle and back office appear not to have embraced some aspects change in the business model.