HAMBURG, N.Y.--- Tom Agosti says his job as assistant race secretary at Buffalo Raceway was like being a backup quarterback in football. "As a backup, everything is nice and nobody is bothering you. The starter catches all the heat and flack."
Well, grab your helmet, Tom...you're now the starter!
Agosti was announced as the new Buffalo Raceway Racing Secretary after the resignation of Ginny Rosenfeld earlier this week.
Buffalo Raceway's Chief Operating Officer Jim Mango said, "When Ginny resigned, I didn't even look anywhere else. I knew the candidate I wanted and it took me like 10 minutes to make the decision. Tommy was my guy. He did a great job as the assistant race secretary. We've had a good working relationship over the years and I know he'll operate the race office in a professional manner. It was an easy choice."
The experience of Agosti in harness racing is expansive. He's seen just about every facet of it from driver, trainer, owner, stall superintendent, paddock supervisor, starting car driver along with being assistant race secretary. It's like, 'been there, done that.' It's a perfect fit for him to slide into the race secretary job. He knows standard bred racing, period.
"My back was really starting to bother and I had to give up training and driving," Agosti said of getting into the management side. "I started looking at other areas of racing. The opportunity to become the assistant racing secretary at Buffalo Raceway came up a few years back and I jumped at it. It was perfect."
Agosti said becoming racing secretary came quickly. "I was stunned when Ginny resigned. But I think I am ready and prepared for this. Ginny really taught me a lot over the past few years. I think with a little time, things will go smoothly. It's a little hectic right now," he added with a chuckle.
With over 1,450 victories as a driver, Agosti said he'll be making a few changes to the condition sheets, but nothing major. "I'll be tweaking it a bit. It might have a bit of a thoroughbred feel to it in some aspects. There will be a few conditions that are comparable to starter allowance races that they have at the thoroughbred tracks. The conditions might be spread out a little more too."
And while there are just five weeks remaining in the 2014 Buffalo Raceway season, Mango said the future is now. "Tom Agosti will absolutely be our racing secretary in 2015. He's still going to have his other duties (stall superintendent, starting car driver) for the rest of 2104 but others will help him pick up the slack."
Mango added that Agosti is about embark on one of the hardest jobs in racing. "Race Secretary and track supervisor...by far the toughest jobs at any race track. But he'll do just fine."
Agosti said of his new duties, "My main goals are to be as fair as possible and not to screw up." With the experience and knowledge he brings to the table, the race office will be in good hands.
by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway