Handing Over the Reins

Many of you may have heard that I have accepted another position and am leaving Emerald Downs.

Management of the Emerald Racing Club will be a team effort of Vince Bruun, Director of Media, and Jacob Pollowitz, Asst. Director of Media. Both you met at Club Orientation on Opening Weekend.

Jacob is our CSN co-host, makes expert picks in the program as Professor Pollowitz and works behind the scenes in the Press Box. He also picked out Archie Graham for the Club. Vince is a long-time horse racing media writer and director with more years experience in horse racing than I’ve been alive! They will be exceptionally skilled in continuing with the communication and education of the Club.

It has been my true pleasure to launch the Emerald Racing Club and go on the journey of horse ownership with you. My heart will always be with the majestic racehorses that powerfully stride down the homestretch. To that end, I will continue to work behind the scenes with the Prodigious Fund, Emerald Downs’ retired racehorse fund.

And I’ll be first in line to join the Emerald Racing Club next year as a member!

I’ve truly enjoyed the relationships I’ve developed with many of you and would like to invite you to stay in touch and I’d be happy to continue to be a resource for you if you have any racing-related questions, comments or concerns.

My personal email is sophiamckee@adrenaline360.net and my cell is 253-508-9441.

Happy racing!




28 thoughts on “Handing Over the Reins

  1. Sophia,

    Thank you for all of your leadership with the Emerald Racing Club. We have, and are, enjoying the fruit of your leadership, knowledge, kindness and guidance. You will be missed very much.

    Best wishes for your future and all you do.


    David and Kay Ray



  2. Sophia~

    Best of luck to you in your new endeavors! Will you be staying in the horse racing arena?

    Your enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport and the manner in which you communicate it, will be greatly missed!

    As they say, change is a good thing!

    Cheers~ Cindy Tomlinson & Dean Prather

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Good luck with your new endeavor Sophia…..thanks for all your help in joining the Emerald Racing Club! Cheers, Tony and Kim Flores

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Dear Sophie,

    Although I don’t believe we have met in person, I want to thank you for all the work you’ve done for the ERC. Being involved with a race horse has always been a dream, and your very informed and thorough management has made me feel like I’m “really in the game”. I hope your new position is very rewarding, Good luck.


    Marylee Natkin, Seattle, WA

  5. Hi, Sophia,

    Best wishes to you with your new position! You’ve done a great job with the racing club and marketing at EMD, and I hope this is a good promotion for you. Glad to hear you’re still involved with the Prodigious Fund and will join the Club next year.

    Welcome to new managers, Vince and Jacob!


  6. Thank you, Sophia, for all the good work you’ve done at Emerald Downs, not least of which was getting the racing club started. Emerald’s loss is Pineapple’s gain, and I wish you all the best as you start your new job. I will be looking for you next year at the track as a fellow member of the racing club, and look forward to Vince and Jacob taking over with this year’s club.They have big shoes to fill!

  7. Sophia, Your blogs were always fun to read and informative, and your passion for the ponies is infectious. You’re a true class act and I wish you all the best as your career continues to blossom.

  8. Thank you Sophia for starting the club. It was a wonderful idea & it brought me back to racing after I lost interest after Longacres closed. I am enjoying horse racing again because of your efforts.

  9. Sophia, I want to add my thank you to the long list above–they’ve pretty much said it all! This has been wonderful experience, much of it due to you, and you will be missed. Best wishes for your new position.

    Vicki Wilson

  10. Good luck with the next step in your journey….thanks for all of your hard work, thanks for fueling my daughters horse fire….thanks to you I am quite sure that I now have to buy grace a horse.

    Boris Castellanos Sent from my handheld, please excuse the brevity.

  11. I will miss you! Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom. You will be missed! I hope we can stay in touch. You are an amazing person! Emerald Downs won’t be the same without you..😓

  12. Thanks, Sophia, for all you’ve done to launch & support ERC. It is and has been great fun and having Churchill Downs copy us is a clear statement on the value of the program! I look forward to learning from Jacob & Vince but you’re leaving big (horse)shoes to fill! Best of luck with your new adventures!

  13. I want to add my thanks for launching the Emerald Racing Club. I never believed I would become a racehorse owner. I have always wanted to make it to the Winners Circle but that really was just a dream. Thanks to Dancing Yodeler, Charlie Thomas, Tribal Waters and Archie Graham, I know the thrill of winning through them and of course, Analina tried her hardest to win for us! Good luck to you in your new position and thanks again for helping to make our journey with our new found furry racehorses a very special journey. They always put a smile on my face whenever I visit them in the barn and see them on the racetrack. Thank you for helping them to be a part of my life.

  14. Sophia – I will always appreciate your passion and enthusiasm. You have tried more new things in your life than most people ever will. The day you called and ask us to take on this new idea of the Emerald Racing Club – I thought well, ok this will be interesting… It has been a blast! There is nothing like winning a race – there is nothing like winning a race for 200 people! You have inspired a passion for the horse like no other. Because of you, people who thought race horse ownership was unattainable – have now enjoyed the victories, experienced the losses, cried about the claims, and gained an appreciation for all the work that goes on behind the scenes. You have created an avenue for people to gain access to a world that was always kind of out of reach. To some people, it is just the visit to feed carrots and touch these beautiful animals that brought them to the Club. To others, it was the first step into investing in this sport and hopefully making it a lifelong passion to hand down to their children. We wish you much success in your new endeavor – don’t be a stranger! Larry and Sharon

  15. Dear Sophia.

    Bill and I would like to congratulate you and wish you much success on your new adventure. We also thank you for bringing much joy into our lives through the Emerald Racing Club. Never in my life did I ever think I would stand in a winner’s circle once, let alone four times. A dream true.
    Vince and Jacob might fill your shoes but can they walk in heels?

    We wish you well.

  16. Sophia!

    Well done! Congratulations and yes, will most definitely look forward to your continuing presence at an ERC member. Thank you so very, very much for giving us this opportunity to be owners. You are a remarkable woman and an exceptional leader. Thank you, again.

    Warmest regards,


    Miriam Wilson mobile: 206 617 3339 email: wilson1209@msn.com

  17. Well Sophia it was really nice meeting you as this is my 2nd year in the club and this year I got my sister Terry to join and she is having a great time but she and I want to wish you well at your new job and to thank you for all the hard work you put in the racing club

  18. Sophia, your efforts for Emerald Downs in general and ERC in particular have been absolutely stellar! While I know Vince and Jacob will step in with all their knowledge and talent, you were the one to create the ERC as a fabulous opportunity and it’s only right that you join the club next season. Personally, I will miss your enthusiasm and your humor. You have my sincere wishes for a rewarding experience with your new company; I know you’ll tackle any challenge given you. I hope to see you at the races! -Holly

  19. Sophia, Sandi and I want to add our endorsements to the accolades above that you have so richly earned. You’ve made the ERC so much more than a group of people getting together t buy horses. To your great credit and our enjoyment you’ve set a high bar for Vince and Jacob.
    We, too, wish you the very best in your new job; change can bring with it many new opportunities and we are sure you will make the most of it.

    Dan & Sandi Keller

  20. Already missing your updates Sophie. By the way, I have all the Tee shirts ready to go for those who ordered them. I’ll bring them to our next race but, if you want them now, I’ll be at the Quarterchute for Breakfast about 10 Saturday.

    • Mike
      I was at the workout this morning and picked up my bag with t shirts and paid you $24. We just got home, open the bag and there was just one shirt, a medium. We also ordered a large.
      Can you please let me know how I can pick up the other shirt.
      Thank you! Sharon Betend.

  21. Kind of quiet around here lately. It was not a lot of fun to see Archie come in fourth yesterday (I put it down to the extreme heat, which horses don’t like), but he was not claimed, so will race for us yet another day. Vince and Jacob, will you be posting here with more news of how our guy came out of his race, and the status of getting a second horse? We are all eager for more news!

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