Q-Racing Blog: Champions and Moving Forward

Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas will be the featured speaker during the January 18 champions announcement ceremony in Oklahoma City.

The announcement of the 2016 racing champions will take place on January 18.

It’s that time of year when action on the track has slowed and the anticipation for championship honors has sped up.

The 2016 champions will be announced on Wednesday, January 18 at 5 p.m. (CST), and they can be viewed live via webcast through the links at www.aqha.com/racing. The guest speaker will be American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member D. Wayne Lukas. After a stellar Quarter Horse career, Lukas went to Thoroughbred racing and reached that breed’s Hall of Fame. Now 81, he won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness Stakes six times, the Belmont Stakes four times and has 20 Breeders’ Cup wins. He has earned four Eclipse Awards for training.

Also, you can bet he will not have any problems talking. He’s a leading ambassador for racing.

It’s all good. It is also an opportunity for all of us involved in racing. Sure, the 2016 world champion’s name will rightfully be in the headline and we should celebrate the horse’s success. Lukas will tell stories that will have us laughing and is part of a story.

Then, over the next few weeks, we return to the day-in, day-out work that makes racing run. We all know the never-ending work ethic racing requires.

I’m going to ask you to do more. (I can see your eyes rolling, like you have spare time.) However, I’ve always believed that if you want to get something done, ask a busy person. They are worker bees.

I worked at Los Alamitos during Lukas’s final few years as a Quarter Horse trainer. Doing the publicity gig, there were a few times that I’d have two media groups wanting to talk to two different trainers at the same time. If Lukas was one of the trainers, my problem was solved. I would just ask him to meet the media at a given time at the stable gate. He came through every time. He went out of his way to help the sport, even though he was in the middle of one of his never-ending work days and transitioning to Tthoroughbred racing.

The main thing I want you to do this year is increase your commitment to an organization in racing. You pick the organization that you think will be your best fit. Remember, 90 percent of success is showing up. So, show up, just like Lukas did at the Los Alamitos stable gate.

What’s the worst-case scenario? You will meet people and learn more about the horse racing business. Not a bad deal.

I also want a positive attitude. It’s a must. People with any kind of negative attitude aren’t doing anybody any good.

I’m not saying that we should be a smiling Pollyanna and sweep problems under the rug. Far from it. We’ve done plenty of that and it always comes back to bite us. Recognize problems and bring them to light. Then work on them with a positive attitude.

Be proactive and be positive. Who knows, it just may work.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqharacing.com.