The return of horse racing at Arizona Downs gets an added dose of excitement with longtime racing analyst Aaron Vercruysse agreeing to serve as paddock host during the 2021 summer race season.
Vercruysse hosts the nationally syndicated “Post Time Radio” show and previously served as the on-air host and race analyst at Santa Anita Park in California. The University of Arizona graduate will be joined as the track’s paddock host by current U of A student and Arizona Downs intern Giselle Lugo.
“I am such a big fan of Arizona Downs and what this track means for the future of Arizona horse racing, I was ecstatic when I was asked to do this,” Vercruysse said. “I’m very happy and excited to be part of the return of racing here.”
Vercruysse, who began his horse racing career as an intern with the Stronach Group and rose to the executive ranks, said he was also drawn to the position thanks to the role of track general manager Mike Weiss, a longtime supporter of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. That relationship resulted in Lugo landing an internship with the track. An Arizona native, she is an animal science and law major who is on the Dean’s List and previously served in an internship at Rillito Park in Tucson.
“The work Mike does with the school is such a positive influence and this is a way to give back,” he said. “It’s important for these students to get hands-on experience and learn the industry as they find what it is they want to do.”
Verycruysse will provide analysis of races every Tuesday and Wednesday for the race season which lasts through September. His radio show can be heard locally at 8 a.m. Saturdays on Fox Sports 910.
Arizona Downs is being managed this season by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E), a leader in the gaming, racing and entertainment industry.
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