LEXINGTON, KY (April 27, 2017) – No job is too big or too small for Kevin Moran, Keeneland’s go-to person for just about everything. Stand in any one place at Keeneland for a short while and the odds are good that Moran will pass by. He might be pushing a cart, carrying a box or scurrying to a new mission but he is unfailingly pleasant and ready to assist.
“When I first started working here, I swore he was triplets because of all the places I always saw him,” Keeneland Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Vince Gabbert said. “From picking up horse owners at the airport to delivering more packages than FedEx, Kevin is the guy.”
Moran’s title is office support/courier manager. More to the point, he seems to know everything about Keeneland. If he can’t find the answer to a question or solution to an issue, he will find someone who can help.
Moran’s territory spreads beyond the concentrated area of the administration wing, Grandstand and Sales Pavilion. He shuttles office supplies and other goods to the maintenance and security buildings in the far corner of the stable area and if items need to be picked up or delivered off-site, Moran hops in a vehicle for the assignment.
Moran seems to have all the answers but he says he continually has learned about Keeneland ever since his first day on the job that almost was his last day on the job. Despite having no previous interest in Thoroughbred racing, Moran found temporary work at Keeneland in 1989 after moving to the Lexington area from California after his father retired from the Navy.
“My first day at work was the Fall Meet at a concession stand in the unenclosed area of the Grandstand,” he said. “I only wore a light jacket on what turned out to be a really cold day. The wind was whipping through there and I thought, ‘What did I get myself into?’ California never got that cold.”
His lesson that day was to always bring an extra layer of clothing. His education has continued for nearly three decades as Moran has come to understands racing’s nuances and terminology.
“One of the most amazing things I have learned is how the jockeys can remember so much about horses they have ridden,’ he said. “Not just their best horses, but horses that they know and (they remember) how those horses have developed.”
He is equally impressed with the rituals at the Racing Office at entry time, especially the post-position draw.
“You can be here every day and then one day pick up something new,” Moran said. “Especially because people are so willing to answer questions.”
As Gabbert noted, Moran seems to be cloned. On extended racing days, he can be seen handling his chores from dawn to dark.
“The one person that is absolutely irreplaceable on our entire staff is Kevin Moran,” Gabbert said. “He does countless things that no one even knows about, let alone have the expertise and the willingness to do. And if he decided to quit tomorrow, we would have to hire five people to replace him.”