Senior Manager, Racing Surfaces
For over 100 years, we have been the engine that drives the Ontario horse racing industry. From King’s and Queen’s trips to Canada, to first dates, anniversaries and unforgettable horse races, we create winning experiences for all our guests.
Join a certified Great Place to Work team and be part of the future of horse racing and entertainment. Access exciting programs that can help unlock your potential while developing challenging and rewarding career goals. As we grow, we need dedicated people to join our cause. Be part of Woodbine Entertainment and get inspired to make work awesome!
The purpose of this position is the effective and efficient maintenance of thoroughbred racing and training surfaces at Woodbine. This includes direct responsibility for the overall management and day to day supervision of the track maintenance staff, which includes unionized and non- unionized employees.
Develop, manage and lead an effective Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces team to ensure the safety of all racing participants (equine and human), across all racing surfaces at Woodbine Racetrack (racing turf and Tapeta courses, training dirt and turf courses). Support Woodbine’s position as leader in racetrack safety in North America by developing and executing racing surface operating plans that support Woodbine’s overall thoroughbred racing strategy.
Provide leadership and direction to Woodbine thoroughbred track maintenance staff. Manage, assess, and monitor overall staff performance and identify areas for improvement, development, and additional training.
Manage the maintenance of all thoroughbred tracks at Woodbine (racing and training), ensuring safety and compliance and readiness for racing and training. Make informed recommendations, by leveraging both quantitative and qualitative information, to the Vice President, Thoroughbred Racing Operations on whether racing should be cancelled and provide back up and insight on the issue at hand in terms of track condition and safety.
Manage the capital requirement for equipment– make recommendations to the Vice President, Thoroughbred Racing Operations on equipment and asset acquisitions to ensure professional grade racing and training surfaces for thoroughbred horse racing.
Contribute to the management of the Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces budget, financial reports, and goals/objectives with direction from the Vice President, Thoroughbred Racing Operations, understanding the organization’s priorities, the needs of the business units, and the external environment.
Develop, with input from the Vice President, Thoroughbred Racing Operations, relevant business investment cases for the procurement of new equipment. Ensure business case development is factual with relevant metrics and ties to Woodbine’s overall thoroughbred racing strategy.
Develop and implement new tools and work procedures aimed at maximizing effectiveness and efficiency of the thoroughbred horse racing surfaces (training and racing) at Woodbine Racetrack while ensuring safety of all racing surfaces is a top priority.
Manage daily Track Log processes on all Woodbine track surfaces, ensuring accuracy and completeness of the data points collected.
Liaise with the Director, Grounds on storm water management and environmental requirements that impact thoroughbred racing surfaces. In addition, partner with the Manager, Fleet Operations to ensure operating equipment is in good working order and maintenance procedures are documented and performed as required.
Responsible for the assessment of operational staffing to efficiently and effectively meet the operational demands of all racing and training surfaces on a day to day basis. Make recommendations to Vice President, Thoroughbred Racing Operations on required staffing levels.
Ensure all equipment is in safe working condition and ensure staff are properly trained.
Manage the turf rail and fertilizer schedules for both the E.P. Taylor Turf Course as well as the Inner Turf Course in addition to the integrated Pest Management Program in collaboration with the Property Services department and Thoroughbred Race Office.
Ensure Horse Ambulance, Starting Gate & track lights are operational and in good working order for live racing.
Develop and maintain positive relationships with horse-people and other racing related personnel and stakeholders (Horse-people’s Associations, Jockeys of Canada Guild).
Interpret, administer and implement the applicable Collective Agreement, organizational policies and HR policies.
Exhibit and demonstrate and encourage the core values of Respect, Integrity, Accountability, and Excellence.
· Advanced knowledge of track surfaces (soils, tapeta and turf) and related issues and machinery
· Advanced knowledge of horse racing industry
· General to advanced understanding of the operational and regulatory structure of horse racing
· General knowledge of union contracts and human relations
· Advanced interpersonal, communication, leadership, organization and management skills
· Must be flexible and innovative
· Ability to multi-task in a fast paced and ever-changing environment
· Ability to make sound decisions on non-routine issues while considering multiple variables and outcomes
· Proficient with computer (Word, Excel)
· Experience with weather tracking software
Education and Experience
• Advanced training and education in the area of horticulture, grounds, and plant physiology
• Requirement to be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
• 5 years experience managing or supervising union staff
Experience with the professional maintenance of turf (grass) surfaces for competition