Meet Rick Mocklin:
Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man with no wealth and taste,
been around for a long, long, time, loved to watch and call a race,
pleased to meet you, hope you remember my name.
Those words, of course, are a play on some of the lyrics from the Rolling Stones song Sympathy For The Devil. I wanted to find a way to break the ice, and introduce myself to the readers of pastthewire.com, so I’m pleased to meet you, hope you remember my name.
My name is Rick Mocklin, and I’m very excited to say that I have joined the writing staff of pastthewire.com, to cover Louisiana racing and it’s players.
For starters, I’ve been involved in racing for 47 years, in one capacity or another. Racing has afforded me the opportunity to meet people and visit race tracks that most people only dream about.
Let me start from the beginning to tell you about my experiences. Now keep in mind, I am a self-proclaimed “Jack Of All Trades” and “Master Of None”.
After being part of the backstretch culture since I was a 15 year-old hot-walker, in September of 1974, at 17 years-old, I became the youngest track announcer in the country when I was hired at Jefferson Downs in Kenner, Louisiana. I was associated with JD until it closed in November of 1992.
In addition to announcing duties, I worked as an assistant trainer, eventually getting my trainer’s license and training Monique Rene, the all-time Louisiana bred money winner at that time.
Working as the JD announcer helped me become Tony Bentley’s back-up announcer at the Fair Grounds, which in-turn helped me become a radio and in-house television host of various racing programs. I worked my way up to the Director of Publicity for the Fair Grounds and was involved in every aspect of their Thoroughbred coverage.
In 1993, I was offered the job as track announcer and Director of Communications for Sam Houston Race Park, Texas’ first Class 1 racing facility. After 14 months, I decided it was time to move on to something new in racing.
In addition to the announcing jobs above, I’ve also called races at Delta Downs, Blue Grass Downs, Dueling Grounds (now known as Kentucky Downs), Ellis Park and Louisiana Downs.
I had been friends with Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero since our teen years and he was looking for an agent to take him back to New Orleans for the winter. Randy and I teamed up, and we were pretty successful (because of him), having a very productive meet at the Fair Grounds, and then finishing third at the summer meet at Arlington Park. It was there, that I also worked for another pretty good jockey, Hall of Famer Jorge Velasquez.
Since then, I’ve worked for jockeys Corey Lanerie, another Hall of Famer in Craig Perrett, Richard Eramia and James Graham. Looking back, I am honored to have been able to represent three Hall of Fame riders, and the other three talented young riders.
So here we are in late August of 2019, I’m semi-retired and ready to take on a new assignment in racing. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional writer, but I do have some things to say about racing that have some merit, if not for anything else, because of my experience.
I’m going to be writing about horses, trainers, owners, jockeys and all the other players in the game. I’m also going to be writing articles based on my opinions. After almost 63 years, I’ve paid my dues, and my opinions are thought out. You may not agree with me, but hopefully, I can spark some thoughts about what is right and what is wrong in our industry.
In closing, let me tell you about two other very important parts of my life at this time. I am the lead singer for a band called Rick Mocklin and the Southern Voice Band. Check us out at rickmocklinmusic.com.
I am also the founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit that helps women with various stages of breast cancer. The SLBCF is named in honor of Shantel Lanerie, the late wife of Corey Lanerie, who died of complications from chemotherapy for Stage 1 breast cancer. The website is shantellaneriefoundation.com.
There you have it, the story of a “Jack Of All Trades” and a “Master of None”. I’m pleased to meet you, hope you remember my name.
If you have any comments or questions, I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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