Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem Feb. 6, 2023

February 6th, 2023

A good Monday morning to you all! Some weekends when I sit down to do this Monday column, I feel like I know exactly the topic I want to write about. Others, I’ll sit and scan through social media and maybe come up with something that caught my eye over the weekend. I mean, there was a ton that happened this weekend in the world of racing, so why is it that I don’t feel super strongly about any of it to write a column on it?

I’m a big believer that sometimes just writing will help your brain really kick-start what you want to write about. As I finished that last paragraph, I started thinking about what happened on the track. We had a couple of really good turf stakes at Tampa this past weekend. I could write about the excitement of calling those 11- and 12-horse fields on the grass. About Emmanuel’s big return to the races winning the Tampa Bay Stakes. I could write about Rocket Can winning the Holy Bull (G3) and his possible path to the Kentucky Derby (G1). I could write about that Robert B. Lewis Stakes, but, uh, no I’m definitely not writing about that.

My favorite part about calling races is getting to tell and be a tiny part of the stories that happen on the track. My favorite part of writing and podcasting is getting to tell stories that happen off the track with people who are involved in racing.

I always say that racing is just the conduit for many of us to find community, friendship, and memories with like-minded people. One of the things I’ve been blessed with in racecalling is finding a community of friends within it. People to share the ups and downs of our career with and talk shop with. There’s a real sense of camaraderie in general in our little corner of the racing world, and I think that stands true for many folks like jockeys, trainers, and lots of other factions within racing.

I saw a really good example of this over this past weekend down at Rillito Park in Tucson, Arizona. Veteran race caller Mike Dimoff (@housecalls_MD) has been calling the races down there this season and on this weekend stepped aside for a bit to allow aspiring racecaller Nathan Klein (@NathanTheCaller) to call a couple of races.

I remember when I was trying to break into announcing, I got some amazing opportunities to call one-off races like that at Portland Meadows. The great Luke Kruytbosch used to be amazing about giving young guys opportunities to call a race or two and allow them to have a demo tape of themselves calling at a real racetrack.

In recent years, it seems like we don’t see as many young people aspiring to be racecallers. I used to get regular emails from people asking about how to break in or how to best practice. I don’t remember getting any of these emails in the last several years. So it was kind of cool to see Nathan getting a chance to call a few races and to see Mike encouraging him. That’s really been the order of how most people have broken in — the mentor/mentee relationship.

The other cool thing about seeing Nathan get a chance to call some races was seeing all the other announcers sending him words of encouragement. We want to see this group continue to expand and grow, and I think an important part of that is seeing and hearing new voices get interested in calling races and racing, in general. So good on you, Nathan, and keep on pursuing your goals in racing!