Racing at Zia Park.

Racing at Zia Park.

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New Racing Appointments at Zia Park

Robbie Junk is new racing secretary and Johnnie Jamison is new starter.

Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M., has announced the appointment of Robbie Junk as racing secretary and Johnnie Jamison as starter for the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet that begins Sept. 6.

"Both have been highly respected wherever they have worked, both know the New Mexico horsemen and racing industry, and we're thrilled to have them," said Zia Park director of racing operations Fred Hutton in a statement.  

"With the type of purse structure we have at Zia Park, I'm going to focus on trying to get some new people to come here in order to bolster our field sizes for the bettors and make our overall racing program stronger," said Junk, 54, who has worked in numerous racing offices since 1989, including Zia, Sunland, and Ruidoso Downs.

Junk, 54, is currently racing secretary at Sunland Park and he served in the same capacity for Zia Park's inaugural season in 2005. In addition to Sunland Park and Zia Park, he has worked in the racing office at Ruidoso Downs

Jamison, 57, whose first positions as a starter were in 1987 at The Downs at Albuquerque and The Downs at Santa Fe in New Mexico, comes to Zia Park from Indiana Grand Racing and Casino where he has been track superintendent and starter.

"I've been very fortunate to start some of the bigger races in the nation for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses," Jamison said. "I do a lot of homework.  I take copious notes on every horse that I see come to the gate."

The 56-day meet runs from Sept. 6-Dec. 2. In conjunction with the opening of a 154-room hotel overlooking the racetrack and paddock area, Zia Park has also made approximately $1 million in renovations to the racetrack, including a redesigned Turf Club with 65 new high-definition televisions, new seating areas, a repainted grandstand, and improvements to the stable area.