woman finding a home away from home, but nonetheless connected with her Kentucky roots, Deborah Lokanc from Louisville is the Director of Horseman Relations. 

In 2002, she received a call at Churchill Downs from Bob Holthus, an American Thoroughbred trainer, and shortly thereafter graced Oaklawn with her warming presence.

Deborah accommodates anything associated with the horses, and makes sure the job is well done.

Amongst her exhilarating experiences, she remembers one in particular, “I got to put the garland of carnations on Zenyatta”, a horse that doesn’t escape the enthusiasms of all employees that we met.

Deborah is sure to sing praises of the employees on the “backside”. These are the ones who labor in the stalls and on the tracks 365 days a year, a job that she says is “not for the faint of heart”.

Hospitality is Deborah’s forte, and she loves the day to day interactions noting, “I meet a variety of people, from the poorest of poor to the richest of rich”.

This smooth operator is a rider herself, having galloped horses since 1980.  She dotes on her old horse “Give it to Mikey”, named after the Life Cereal commercial “…because he would eat anything”.

Her way with the majestic steed is evident; even in the photos you can see her connection with the horse.

Thank you Deborah, for making sure the guests are happy, and in turn – all is well.