Hugh Drexler hosts Rillito Park’s paddock handicapping show in both English and Spanish
Hugh Drexler is not your typical college student. He doesn’t live in a dorm, he doesn’t belong to a fraternity, he’s usually in bed by 9 p.m. He’s a 34-year-old real estate broker who has a 21-month old son who keeps him busy when he’s not at school or at work.
Drexler was born into the world of horse racing. His grandfather and great grandfather were both Thoroughbred trainers in Puerto Rico. His great grandfather is in the Puerto Rico Hall of Fame under the nickname “Manos Santa” (Saint Hands). His parents met in Puerto Rico at the racetrack while his father was an apprentice jockey. Drexler’s family eventually settled down in Phoenix, Az., during which time he worked in various capacities at Turf Paradise including concessions, mutuel teller, programs, promotions, and the tote room.
He left the race track life for a few years to jump into the world of real estate and was quickly greeted by the market crash of the late 2000’s. At that point, he decided to get into the family business and start working on the backside of the track. He worked as a groom, galloped horses, and even owned and trained several horses. Hugh quickly found out that ownership was more fun than it was profitable. He put his dream of the racetrack life on hold to re-enter his real estate career; 10 years later, he decided it was time to get back into horse racing.
To make his dream a reality, Drexler joined the Race Track Industry Program. He knows that many of the program’s alumni are top professionals in the industry and he strives to be in that elite group as well.
Taking part in the PariBet Racetrack Industry Student Experience (PRISE) experience this season at Rillito Park is a part of that plan and is expanding Hugh’s repertoire of skills even further. He’s working in the racing office, creating the morning line, and hosting the morning and paddock handicapping shows in both English and Spanish.
Combining his vast experience in the industry and his education, Drexler believes he’ll have the necessary tools to promote racetracks, conduct profitable race meets, and help restore racing to its former glory.
Though this is a very busy time in his life, he says he wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world.
PariBet LLC, an advanced deposit wagering service, is again partnering with Rillito Park Racetrack to sponsor students in the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program to work in various positions at the track during its 2018 winter season. In turn, the students contribute a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise to the meet.
To learn more about the Race Track Industry Program, visit ua-rtip.org.
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