01/30/2014 12:59PM

Del Mar hires David Jerkens as racing secretary


David Jerkens will leave his position as racing secretary at Golden Gate Fields in June to become the racing secretary at Del Mar, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced on Thursday.

Jerkens is being brought in because the track will run two meets this year – its regular summer meeting and an additional meeting in the fall – to pick up some of the dates left by the closure of Hollywood Park.

Jerkens, 35, is the son of trainer Steve Jerkens and the grandson of legendary Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens. His uncle Jimmy Jerkens is another notable trainer.

Jerkens began his racing office career in New York in 2000 before heading west in 2005 to serve as assistant at Golden Gate. Jerkens was promoted to racing secretary at Golden Gate in 2011.

“David is going to be a wonderful addition to our crew at Del Mar,” Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and chief executive Joe Harper said in a statement released by the track. “He’s a bright young man with a great feel for the game. His family history and his experience both back east and in California will translate well to our racing office. I know our horsemen will find him a first-rate guy to work with.”

Del Mar’s racing department will continue to be overseen by Tom Robbins, the track’s vice president for racing and industry relations.

“With the shift in the racing scene in Southern California and the racing picture in general across the country, the racing product has become more important than ever before in our business,” Robbins said. “Bringing on an enthusiastic and multi-talented racing man like David Jerkens to make us even stronger on the horse side became just about a necessity.”

Charles Jenda More than 1 year ago
Congratulations David. This guy is problem solver and genuinely cares about horse racing. Excellent draft choice.
Greg Brent More than 1 year ago
Northern California's loss is certainly Del Mar's gain. Having worked with David Jerkens since he first joined the staff at Golden Gate Fields and then advanced to Racing Secretary, I can attest to his enthusiasm and his brilliance. Tom Robbins (who I worked with many years ago) is one of the deans of American horse racing. He and Joe Harper have made an excellent move luring David away from Northern California, especially with the demands of an expanded racing schedule at Del Mar and also trying to lure the Breeders' Cup to the wonderful surfside track. David has made a dramatic difference in Northern California trying to rebuild field size and the racing program under the circumstances that exist...notably the declining horse population. Congratulations and best of luck to David in his new position. He will do an excellent job.