Prairie Meadows announced Jan. 23 the appointment of Fred Hutton as racing secretary for the 67-day meet that runs April 20-Aug. 11.
Hutton previously was director of racing and racing secretary at Remington Park in Oklahoma from 2000-10. Most recently, he was racing secretary at Zia Park. The New Mexico track's meet ended Dec. 4.
Hutton succeeds Dan Doocy, who stepped down last fall.
“I think he’ll be a good fit,” Derron Heldt, Prairie Meadows’ director of racing, said. “We’d like to have a circuit with Remington (which has a meet that starts in August), and I think his work experience there will help. There’s an opportunity with him coming from the Southwest to grow that recruiting. I think he has a lot of positives.”
Hutton, 54, grew up in Ohio and got involved in racing through his father, a horse owner. Hutton started as a jockey at age 16, winning his first race in 1974, and then started training his family’s horses.
He worked on the starting gate crew at Thistledown and joined that track’s racing office in 1990. Through the years, he worked as a simulcast coordinator and even announced horse races.
Hutton said he got a close look at Prairie Meadows while recruiting horses for Remington Park.
“I loved the facilities,” he said. “The people were very accommodating and I loved the area. I always liked the program, and when the opportunity came up, I said, ‘This sure is a place I’d like to be.’
“They have three graded stakes (the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker, Iowa Derby, and Iowa Oaks), and those aren’t easy to get. They’ve done a tremendous job in continually improving the horse program. That, to me, is the epitome of racing when you can get to that level.”