MJC STAKES COORDINATOR COLEY BLIND TO RETIRE
Embracing a family tradition in Thoroughbred racing that dates back more than a century, and following his own distinguished career in various roles touching parts of six decades, Coleman E. ‘Coley’ Blind is stepping down as stakes coordinator for the Maryland Jockey Club.
- Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program set for JuneThe Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, which aims to help college students get in the door in racing, will take place in June.
Blind, 72, is retiring from the position effective Nov. 1. Former trainer Jason Egan, who currently works in the MJC racing office as an entry clerk, will step into the role of stakes coordinator.
“My family has been in racing for almost 120 years,” Blind said. “I really liked my position as stakes coordinator. Working with the trainers all over the country was very enjoyable. That’s the part I will miss the most. I know Jason will do a great job.”
Blind’s roots run deep in Thoroughbred racing. His great-grandfather owned horses in England and his grandfather trained for the Royal Canadian governor of British Columbia after the family emigrated to Canada.
An uncle, Eric Blind, rode in the 1924 Kentucky Derby (G1) and the 1926 Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1). Blind’s father, Eddie, was an assistant starter for the famed match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral in the 1938 Pimlico Special and became the official starter for Maryland’s Thoroughbred tracks in 1947, acquiring the nickname “The Maestro of the Start” in a position he held for 35 years until his retirement.
Blind began working alongside his father in the Laurel Park starting gate in 1966, joined by his brother, Frank, who would go on to become a golf pro at Fox Hollow Golf Club in Baltimore County. Coley Blind has worked in racing offices for Maryland’s tracks at Laurel, Pimlico and Timonum as well as Monmouth Park, Delaware Park and the defunct Atlantic City, Liberty Bell, Marlboro and Hagerstown.
In addition to stakes coordinator, Blind has also worked as an assistant starter, starter, paddock judge, patrol judge, placing judge, clerk of scales, horse identifier and assistant racing secretary. He also served as a National Steeplechase Association steward.
In 1989 Blind left racing for 11 years, went into contracting and opened an insurance business before returning to the game in 2000. He said he plans to stay in the Maryland area.
“One thing I will always remember is watching Secretariat win the  Preakness. He was in my mind the greatest horse I ever saw. I was the patrol judge at the quarter pole that day and was awed by him,” Blind said. “In my years in racing I have seen some of the best horses ever to run.”
The 38-year-old Egan can trace his love of racing to growing up in Washington state, where his father took him to defunct Longacres in the Seattle suburb of Renton to watch the legendary Captain Condo, who won 30 of 70 starts from 1986 to 1992.
Egan attended the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program, interning with trainer Michael Dickinson in North East, Md. Egan worked for a time on a farm in Florida following graduation and spent a year working for seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher before becoming trainer Mike Trombetta’s assistant.
After going out on his own, Egan won 52 races between 2011 and 2019, earning his first stakes win in the 2018 Weber City Miss with 3-year-old filly Goodonehoney. Other top horses trained by Egan include She’s Achance Too, second in the 2016 Maryland Million Lassie, three-time stakes-placed Any Court Inastorm, and He’s Achance.
Egan’s wife, Jordyn, works as director of development for the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation and is assistant director for Maryland Million Ltd.