Jason Beem's Thursday Column for Nov. 24, 2022

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November 24th, 2022

A good Thursday to you all and a happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all have a good holiday weekend and enjoy the amazing racing around the country. I wanted to use this week’s Thursday column to give thanks on this holiday and I wanted to bring in some of my colleagues from here at Twinspires/Churchill Downs to give their thanks as well! 

Joe Kristufek, Analyst Churchill Downs/Fair Grounds
“I’ll say I’m thankful for - the ability to turn a hobby into a full-time job at the home of the Kentucky Derby, the comforts of the Aristides Loft in November, the new 15% takeout Pick Fives and $1 Pick Six at Fair Grounds, Southwest style chargrilled oysters from Mr. Ed’s, maiden auction races and the potential for both my mom and brother to live in Kentucky in the very near future.”

Kaitlin Free, Analyst at Churchill Downs/Turfway Park
“I am thankful to be working with colleagues and superiors in racing that support me and encourage me to always learn and strive for better than best. Being given a chance and having the proper support around me has been life-changing. I'm also thankful for good health this year. We recently found out that my mother is cancer-free and defeated cancer for a second time!”

James Scully, Analyst at Churchill Downs/Brisnet
“I’m fortunate to work in an industry and job that I love. As a horseplayer, I’m always thankful for any big scores during the last year. And I consider myself lucky to work with people I like and respect.”

John G. Dooley, Announcer at Fair Grounds and Horseshoe Indianapolis
“On this Thanksgiving 2022, I’m thankful for the support from my family and all the great friends I’ve made over the years in racing. I feel blessed to be able, since 2004, to call the races and celebrate the Holidays in a great, fun city like New Orleans. Also happy to have spent my first season this year at Horseshoe Indianapolis, meeting new fans, with a talented team and a record total handle for the race meet. Happy Thanksgiving to all racing fans!”

Nazrana Dixon, Director of Marketing at Brisnet
"I am thankful to have a job that allows me to attend live racing as often as I want, and all the sweet friendships I’ve made within the racing community. Horse Racing Twitter gets a bad reputation but I’ve met some of the kindest, most wonderful people I know through it."

Scott Shapiro, Analyst at Churchill Downs/Twinspires
"While racing certainly has issues, the good far outweigh the bad. I am most thankful for the friends I have met over the years in the industry, as well as the brave men and women that put their lives on the line every day for our enjoyment. Happy Thanksgiving!" 

Thanks to all those folks for sharing in this week’s column. I’m certainly thankful to get to be colleagues with so many good people in this business who have become great friends. I did a lot of my ‘thanks’ on today’s Podcast episode, but let me add a few here that I didn’t mention there.

My gratitude for my friends and family cannot be stated. I’m so fortunate to have so many good people in my corner in all aspects of my life. I feel so fortunate to get to do content work for Twinspires as well as announce horse races. I still find the work very creatively fulfilling and I think having that enjoyment in my professional life has helped my personal life. 

I remember several years ago spending a couple Thanksgiving holidays alone in Portland, staying in my apartment because my anxiety and agoraphobia had gotten so bad that driving back home to Seattle to see my family just seemed like too much. I know the holidays can sometimes be stressful and I wish those of you out there who are struggling in any way, peace and health.