Wednesday morning I met Jerry McMahon at Clockers' Corner, Santa Anita, where he is a frequent visitor. McMahon recently announced his resignation as president and general manager of Barretts Equine Ltd., the Pomona, California Thoroughbred auction company he founded in 1989 with Fred Sahadi and former Fairplex Park CEO Ralph Hinds.
It was not surprising to find McMahon at Clockers' Corner. "Clockers' Corner to me represents the focal point of our industry in Southern California," he said. "In some of the other states with breeding and racing centers, like in Lexington, KY, Ocala, FL, and Saratoga, NY, they have more structured social functions, dinners, and so on," McMahon explained. "Clockers' Corner is where all that happens here in Southern California, in terms of social networking and business networking."
Places like Clockers' Corner -- where ordinary fans mingle with racing's elite trainers, riders, owners, and industry representatives like McMahon -- are truly unique and special. And Santa Anita's Clockers' Corner is one of the best kept secrets in horseracing. It's a place where families can come on Saturday and Sunday mornings for a delicious trackside breakfast, or just donuts and coffee, and watch the horses training against the backdrop of the beautiful San Gabriel mountains.
"Clockers' Corner is, to my way of thinking, the single best marketing tool that we have for our sport in Southern California," McMahon agreed, "particularly in terms of what families can enjoy."
Speaking about his recent announcement, McMahon said, "I have had a really great 20-year run with Barretts, and I just felt that I needed freshening up, by looking for a new opportunity, hopefully within the business. The response I've gotten to the announcement has been really supportive. People have been expressing appreciation for the work I've done and wishing me the best. It has been really great."