The Heart and Soul of the Backstretch

Aug 11,2018 Lauren Zandee

All too often, the heart and soul of a racetrack gets lost in the excitement of the drivers and the horses; however, grooms, are some of the most vital people to a racetrack that also need to be recognized for their incredible hard work and dedication to horse racing.

Chay Poloway is a terrific example of a groom at Century Downs that works 365 days a year, seven days a week to ensure that the Marino barn runs smoothly. Her day begins by feeding the horses at 5:45 a.m. After a quick break at Tim Horton’s Poloway is back at the barns for the rest of the morning to clean out 11 stalls and jog horses so they are ready for the trainers later on. As a third-generation horsewoman, Poloway is no stranger to getting her hands dirty and being around horses.

“I definitely want to keep learning, and hopefully get my trainers license this year, so the best thing I can do is be in the barns to get my hands dirty. You never know what’s going to happen, but I’d like to get my own horses and eventually drivers license, but I know I’ve got a lot of learning to do in the meantime,” said Poloway.

Although Poloway and her significant other work together on 11 stalls at Century Downs, she does have a soft spot for COMES HOME FIRST.

“He’s an old-timer, but he makes me want to come to work every day and always puts a smile on my face in the morning every time I feed him. He’s just one of those horses that makes you really passionate about the business and I want to be here for them, to support them. The horses do so much for us and I never really seem to forget that and I really appreciate all of the horses we work with. They try day-in and day-out and it’s mentally and physically straining on both of us so if I can love them as much as possible it makes them want to race hard and hopefully win the race,” said Poloway.

As you can see from Poloway, her passion for this industry is nothing short of fierce and needs to be recognized and appreciated more often. Here at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, we would like to recognize and thank the grooms of the backstretch for their hard work and dedication to their position as it is so vital to the operations that go on behind-the-scenes.


Join us for Ladies Day at the Track on August 11! Grab your friends for a girl’s day out! Watch and wager live horse racing, starting at 1:15 p.m., slip into the exclusive tent for wine samples,
pampering and your chance to win great prizes! You can also watch fierce ladies as they race on horseback for charity for Pace Under Saddle!


If you are a Winners’ Zone member, don’t forget that you can level up your points up to 5x when you swipe your card every Tuesday in August! Visit us and swipe your Winners’ Zone card every Tuesday in August for a chance to level up your points!


See you at Century Downs!