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Behind the Scenes: Retiree Finds Perfect Post at Keeneland's Lost and Found

April 18, 2017

LEXINGTON, KY (April 18, 2017) – Carol Sue Ray is quick to share a smile and a joke but she is plenty serious in her role as overseer of Keeneland’s Lost and Found booth located on the second floor of the Grandstand near Elevator B. The position is a perfect fit for her affable personality and past work experience.

“I was with Delta Airlines at the corporate headquarters in Atlanta in various jobs,” she said. “My last eight years were in emergency management, where I started the Delta Care Team and trained people to help families in the event an accident. It was very rewarding work and allowed me to incorporate my training in psychology and customer service skills.”

After retiring and moving back to Central Kentucky, Ray realized she wanted to learn about the Thoroughbred industry. Despite growing up in the famed Bluegrass region, she had no contact with the racing world.

“I thought having a job at Keeneland would allow me to ask questions of people who are extremely knowledgeable and willing to share that with me,” Ray said.

Her first visit to the track was in the spring of 2012 when she interviewed for a Guest Services position. She was hired to welcome guests at the Kentucky Room on the fourth floor. She transferred to Lost and Found in October 2015.

Ray is endlessly intrigued by items that find their way to her area and by predictable patterns with other pieces. She knows that she will see a parade of umbrellas during a rainy season.

“We had about 60 unclaimed umbrellas one race meet but none during that spectacular stretch of weather last fall,” she said.

Mobile devices frequently become separated from their owners but usually find their way home thanks to Ray’s battery chargers. Eventually the phones ring and Ray cheerfully asks the caller to notify the owner of its location.

Ray can bet she will have a steady stream of jewelry and accessories in her collection amid more unusual things such as partial dentures, stuffed animals and medications.

In addition to the knowledge she has gained by working at Keeneland, Ray stays informed by reading about Thoroughbred racing online and at the Keeneland Library. She shares this information while working as a Keeneland tour guide in the off-season.

“My favorite part of working for Keeneland is being with our guests who enjoy the experience we create with them,” she said. “The spectacular grounds make Keeneland a gorgeous place to work.”