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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/11/10)

Contact: Ron Uchman
(708) 780-3700


Shannon McGovern has been around racing for quite a while but she hasn’t been around here for all that long. This popular jockey agent was kind enough to sit though an interview, taking time to talk to this writer, despite briefly caring for a newborn baby (Tim Thornton and Amber DePositar’s, not Shannon’s) while Dad was riding and Mom was grabbing a quick bite.

“I started working at racetracks about six or seven years ago. I started working as a groom. Then I worked as an assistant. From there I became an exercise rider. Finally I started training. I trained for about four years, mostly at Fairmount and some here and I also had some stabled at Ellis. But, now I’m an agent.

“I really miss training but there are far less costs being an agent. The economy started getting a little tough and I had fewer owners and had owners that had a hard time paying as well. I just decided to get out. I don’t think that I’ll ever go back to training.

“There are plenty of other things that I can do if being an agent doesn’t pan out. I worked in a hospital for a while. I suppose I could go back to doing that. But, I’m sure that I will be successful at this. I know a lot of people in the racing game and most of them are willing to help out.

“When I decided to quit training, Danush Sukie, one of the leading riders at Fairmount, asked me to take his book for that fall up here. He was aware that I knew a lot of people on this circuit and he wanted to make inroads around here. Then, at the end of last fall, I picked up Brandon Meier.

“When Ramsey Zimmerman found out that I was coming back for this meet, he asked me to represent him. We lost some business early in the meet because Ramsey was struggling with his weight but he’s been on a pretty good roll the last couple of weeks and he’s now in the top 10. Both of my riders have tremendous talent.

“When this meet is over I won’t be going on to Arlington Park. I’m going back to Fairmount for the summer. I’ll take two riders down there. They only race three days a week but at least I’ll get to spend more time with my daughter who still lives down there. I didn’t want to uproot her, switch schools, and upend her life. I didn’t think that would be fair to her at this point in time. I don’t want to move her around until I decide where I really want to be.

“Eventually, I wouldn’t mind going to Indiana. They seem to be thriving, their tracks, like around here, are close together, meaning that we wouldn’t have to move around a lot. I do like it there.

“But, I’m probably going to come back here in the fall.”

We hope that she does.

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