October 4, 2019

Today’s opening day of the Fall Meet marks the debut of head starter Scott Jordan, who fills a position at Keeneland made famous by the late Robert “Spec” Alexander.

Alexander, who died June 3 at age 80, had been Keeneland’s head starter since the 1980s. He was a widely respected horseman and a beloved ambassador for the track.

“He was an icon. He was always someone you looked up to,” said Jordan on a recent morning from the starting gate positioned at the 4½-furlong chute on the far side of the Keeneland Grandstand where he and his crew were working with horses during training hours.

Jordan, 48, brings significant credentials to Keeneland. The son of trainer Rick Jordan, he is from Central Ohio, rode Quarter Horses at 13 and was an exercise rider at Beulah Park while attending Otterbein University. Jordan started working on the starting gate at age 19 and spent time at Beulah and River Downs (now Belterra) before beginning at Churchill Downs in 1995.

He has been the head starter at Churchill since 2006 – during which time he often communicated with Alexander at Keeneland about sharing personnel – and also is the head starter at Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs.

Jordan lives in Dillsboro, Indiana – west of Cincinnati and 103 miles from Keeneland – where his wife, Janice, and daughter, Tara Matthias, operate Breakway Farms, a full-service Thoroughbred breeding operation that stands eight stallions. During the Fall Meet, Matthias is working with Keeneland Stall Manager Wayne Mogge.

He is excited to be at Keeneland.

“It’s a heck of an opportunity,” he said. “I’m only as good as those guys who work for me (pointing at the assistant starters at the starting gate). I put them in place, but they do all the work. They make me look good.”

From: Keeneland Barn Notes

Nice score King! @jonathanstettin Well played with the 4 singled on one ticket. 2 times! Big congrats.

Michael R. Snow (@theWynnDough) View testimonials