Getting to Know You with WEG's Greg Gangle

10:34 AM 30 May 2014 NZST
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Greg Gangle, harness racing Harness racing Greg Gangle, harness racing
Greg Gangle - all dressed up with plenty of places to go.
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Greg Gangle on vacation in Australia with his lovely girlfriend Anna Glide
Greg Gangle at work interviewing driver Tim Tetrick
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With classy harness racing analyst Mike Hamilton set to put down the microphone at Mohawk Racetrack in a couple of weeks, there is another classy person set to take his place. Enter Greg Gangle, a West Lorne, Ontario native.

Greg is a true people person, someone who is ready to engage with patrons and horsemen alike and is always enjoying a laugh. Sounds like Mike!

"A lot of people don't know Mike's such a smart man in terms of business sense." Greg says. "There's times after work where him and I will sit down and I ask him numerous questions and not just about racing. He's an intelligent guy and over the last three years I've learned a lot from him and Ken Middleton."

Greg states a valuable piece of advice, "when you're around good people, you learn quickly and good things are bound to happen."

The vacancy has opened a wonderful opportunity for both Greg and Chad Rozema to rotate as on-air hosts.

"Mike Hamilton has such a great reputation" says Greg. "Following in his footsteps would be appealing to anyone, not just myself. Chad Rozema who has worked with Woodbine in the past, is coming aboard as well."

"The Horse Player's Journal will need some assistance as well because that gig also became available." Greg explains, "What the broadcast team has done is, they brought Chad and I aboard to do the nightly simulcast show along with doing the Horse Player's Journal, which is the handicapping and writing throughout the week."

"One week I am going to be doing Mike Hamilton's job and the next week I will be doing the Horse Player's Journal. Chad and I will be (rotating) back and forth." Greg says.

With Greg having worked for the Woodbine Racetrack media department these past couple of years, Greg is more than familiar with the horses and handicapping.

Looking at both opportunities, does Greg have a preference? No sir, Greg's excited at the prospect of exceeding at both, while having a good time and delivering insight to fans. Greg admits he doesn't have a 'style' or approach. What Greg is focused on is being himself; simple and honest.

"I follow quite a few on-air hosts, not just in harness racing." Greg notes, "Don Cherry and Ron MacLean at the CBC do a fantastic job. I've read their biographies and news clips and they've always said, especially Don Cherry and that is 'to always be yourself, do not try and be someone you're not'. When I express my opinion about a horse, it's not fake it is what I truly believe... whether I like a horse or dislike a horse."

"As for having my own signature approach, I don't think so, but who knows down the road I might be doing something I didn't even know I was doing." Greg says.

There have been a few people within the industry that have influenced Greg to help him work his way to where he is now. "When I was 19 or 20 I worked for a magazine, at the time it was called the Harness Edge" says Greg. "There I was working for publisher and editor Harold Howe and Heather MacKay Roberts who was the assistant (editor) at the time."

Both Heather and Harold were role models for Greg and they took Greg under their wing to help show him the ropes.

"I was going to all the yearling sales and major races and it was really exciting" says Greg about his experience with the Harness Edge. "From there we started developing video interviews for the website and they still do it now. That's where I got my feet wet... learning to conduct interviews, editing, uploading it to the website and making it presentable to the public."

"Three years later an opportunity came up to work at Woodbine and they were excited that I knew how to do all that and they wanted me to continue doing that. It snowballed from there." Greg says.

Greg's former boss at Woodbine, John Siscos is another person Greg is grateful to have met. "I have to thank John a great deal." Greg states. "He's the type of person who gives you the reins of things. He really respects your opinion on what you want to do on a weekly or daily basis. He threw the ball in my court and let me do what it was I wanted to do and it grew from there."

A major aspect Greg enjoyed during his time working for the media department is the amount of time Greg got to work up close and personal with everyone including drivers and trainers. "You're right with the who is who of racing, especially in Canada... that was really exciting." Greg says.

If you haven't met Greg, he considers himself a very competitive person who likes to play hockey and try his best in anything he does including work, he's always swinging for the fences!

"I put a lot of pressure on myself" says Greg. "Replacing Mike Hamilton, both Chad Rozema and myself, it's not something easy to do. I know, on behalf of Chad and myself, we are both looking forward to the challenge."

If you're at Mohawk and you see Greg, I highly recommend you go and meet him. Fans can never go wrong meeting a classy person in any industry!

Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin
@supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova
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