Talk to Troy Levy for more than five minutes, and he will say it. “I love this game.” During the course of an hour-long conversation he’ll say it at least a half dozen times. He hopes that his unrestrained enthusiasm for horse racing is contagious.
“I honestly think the Thoroughbred racing industry is the best, it’s great to be involved in it,” Levy said. “I am always trying to think of ways to bring new people into the game, and we have had a decent amount of success in doing that. Tropical Racing has had a few dozen new owners who’ve never owned horses, some who had never even been to the racetrack before.”
Levy started Tropical Racing in South Florida in late 2016 and, less than two years later, he was elected to the Board of the Florida HBPA. But he was no newcomer to the sport. The Long Island native has been a member of the racing community since he was a teenager.
It all started when a neighbor acquired an interest in a harness horse, and invited Levy and his father to be his guests at Roosevelt Raceway. The connection was immediate.
“Somehow, with horses, they get into your soul,” Levy said. “Just walking into the barn, actually touching a horse – that was it. As we were driving home, I said, ‘Hey, Pop, can we go back next weekend?’”
The then-13-year-old would help out on visits to the barn with his father and their neighbor. In short order, he began spending several hours a day at the track on weekends. The trainer had a small stable, and was happy to have an extra pair of hands.
“My dad would drop me off in the morning and pick me up in the afternoon, and the trainer was great about letting me hang around,” Levy recalled. “He let me sit beside him on the jog cart, he taught me how to walk horses, how to groom. I kept getting more and more involved.”