Tom Ward has had a lifetime on the racetrack and is now serving for the second time as a steward at Del Mar.
Ward's first tour of duty came in 1985-86. This season he replaces the ailing Dave Samuel on the team that oversees action on the track from its perch high above the grandstand.
Of his Del Mar assignment, Ward says: "It's really nice here. It's quite a departure for me. Usually I'm at the Ferndale Fair meeting."
Ward started his career in 1967 in the racing offices at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows, serving as an entry clerk in the mornings and as a patrol and placing judge during the racing day. Even in those days he was intent on becoming a steward and his big break came as one at a harness racing meet in Sacramento in 1950.
Later, he became the state steward at Thoroughbred meetings at his earlier home tracks of Bay Meadows and Golden Gate. He moved his steward's tack – his field glasses -- to the Southern California circuit in the mid-1980s and is a regular on the stewards' staff at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park.