KEN BROWN TO BECOME NEW MJC TRACK SUPERINTENDENT
Laurel, MD – September 8, 2023 – The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) is pleased to announce the return of Ken Brown, a seasoned veteran with decades of experience in track maintenance, to the important role of Track Superintendent, effective September 18th. Brown, a familiar figure in the Maryland racing community, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new position.
Having called Laurel, Maryland, home for many years, Ken Brown's return to MJC marks a partial homecoming. He currently holds the position of Track Superintendent at Colonial Downs, a role he has excelled in since the Virginia track's reemergence in 2019.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Brown commenced his career in racing surface maintenance under the tutelage of John Passero during the 1980s at Woodbine. When Passero assumed the role of MJC Track Superintendent in 1987, Brown made the move to Maryland, becoming an indispensable part of the team until early 2005 when he was appointed Track Superintendent at Delaware Park.
David Richardson, Executive of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA), expressed his excitement, stating, "We are thrilled to welcome someone of Ken's caliber as we strive to provide our horsemen with the finest racing surfaces in the nation. Ken has been our trusted consultant and a longtime friend, offering invaluable support behind the scenes. His decision to return to Maryland full-time is a major win for our community and the entire industry. He is unquestionably one of the nation's preeminent track experts."
In a statement from the Maryland Jockey Club, they added, "Ken Brown's return signifies a significant moment for the Maryland racing scene. His experience and dedication to maintaining top-tier racing surfaces align perfectly with our commitment to horse safety and excellence in racing. We look forward to his leadership in this critical role."
In 2016, Brown left Delaware and assumed the same leadership position at Canterbury Park in Minnesota for the 2017 and 2018 racing seasons. Subsequently, he received a pivotal call from Jill Byrne, Vice President of Racing Operations, who was assembling a team for the relaunch of Colonial Downs. Brown accepted the role of Track Superintendent and played an instrumental part in rejuvenating the track.
Reflecting on his time at Colonial Downs, Brown remarked, "We essentially resurrected the track. It had been primarily used for harness racing and was covered in stone dust. We embarked on a rigorous three-month process, rebuilding the foundation, conducting a thorough survey, and selecting the ideal sand mixture. Jill and I had a fantastic working relationship, and it all came together seamlessly."
While Colonial Downs now hosts one or two dirt races daily, the track surface is used regularly for morning training sessions.
"I had reservations about returning to Virginia this year," said the 65-year-old Brown. "I wanted to stay closer to home in Maryland. David Richardson, whom I've known for years, reached out to me. Now, I have the opportunity to remain in Laurel and contribute. I hope to collaborate with them to ensure our racing surfaces are consistently top-notch."
Brown emphasized the importance of effective communication and information sharing among staff and horsemen. He noted, "At Colonial, people always knew where to find me. Horsemen could easily reach out with feedback or concerns. Our shared goal is to prioritize the safety and well-being of the horses."
John Passero, serving as the track surface consultant for the MTHA since the spring, continues to maintain a strong working relationship with Brown.
MJC Track Superintendent Chris Bosley will be departing on September 22nd, seeking fresh opportunities within the industry. The MTHA extends its best wishes to Mr. Bosley, acknowledging his many years of dedicated service to the Maryland racing community.