Nexus Member Spotlight: Elliot Drechsler
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elliot Drechsler was not born into horse racing, nor did he have any racetracks nearby. Instead, Elliot became captivated by racing during a family trip to France, where they spent the day at Hippodrome De Compiègne. He was hooked instantly.
From then on, Elliot took advantage of watching any races that were being televised. Once he became a student at St. John’s University in New York City, he knew he would be frequently attending Belmont Park and Aqueduct. Suddenly, it was realistic for racing to be a genuine hobby of his.
“At first, I was attracted to the gambling side of horse racing,” Elliot said. “I saw it as one big puzzle where the answer was hiding in plain sight. I also just loved watching the horses. They are incredible athletes with their own personality.”
Elliot graduated from St. John's this past fall with a bachelor’s degree in Cyber Security Systems, and is currently pursuing an MBA while he works as an Application Security Engineer.
“I love working with computers and writing/analyzing code,” Elliot said. “I find that I can use the same thought process in cyber security as I do when handicapping, and I do hope to get more involved with racing once I finish my MBA.”
Combining his passions for technology and racing, Elliot is constantly honing his craft as a handicapper. Through his studying and talent, he has found quite a bit of success.
“This past fall, I was able to hit a pick 4 at Kentucky Downs and a pick 4 during the Breeders Cup, which was really exciting.” Elliot said.
From Elliot’s viewpoint, there exist two simple methods to attract more young people to racing: improve the fan experience, and allow easier access to handicapping data.
“Going to the track should be a fun experience,” Elliot said. “Boutique meets like Oaklawn Park and Saratoga attract huge crowds and a diverse demographic. But on a normal Saturday at Belmont Park, you won't see that type of crowd. How can we attract the crowds that we see at Oaklawn or Saratoga to Belmont or Aqueduct? Secondly, better access and visitation of racing data [are important]. Younger people are getting more involved with sports betting. Horse racing can be a scary thing to bet on. It took me a while to learn how to read the form and understand the patterns. How can this data be better compiled and analyzed so it is easier for newer fans to read it?”
As for Elliot, he has found his place with Nexus, where he has enjoyed the experiences his membership has provided him. Other members have benefitted from Elliot’s involvement as well, as he often shares various technology- and data-related information pertaining to racing that gives members a different perspective.
“The experiences and opportunities in Nexus have shown me there is so much more to the industry,” Elliot said. “This is something that I have truly come to love.”