PROFILE: Jim Dowd was born in 1919 and was reared in Massachusetts. While in high school he witnessed the opening of Taunton Greyhound Track in 1935 and soon began selling the racing edition of the Boston Record American. After Raynham opened in 1940, he worked as a mutual teller at both the racetracks while attending college. Following World War II he was employed in Chemical sales and later as a schoolteacher. While he and his wife, Ruth, raised two girls and a boy, Dowd continued to work at night at the racetracks. In 1973, at the age of 54, Dowd resigned his teaching position to become an associate judge at the newly opened Seabrook racetrack in New Hampshire.
HISTORY: From Dowd’s early beginnings in the racetrack industry as a mutual teller he advanced to handling publicity and handicapping for the program. He became familiar with every track position including paddock judge, clerk of sales, associate judge, chart writer and track announcer by filling in for ill or vacationing employees. His work as associate judge at Seabrook led to the position at Plainfield Greyhound Park when it opened in 1976.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Dowd was well known for being thorough and meticulous when recording ear tattoos, markings, colors, scars and toenail colors on a chart for identification. He worked at nearly every position at the racetrack as a second job before finally choosing the associate judge position as his full-time occupation. Over 60 years after his first introduction to greyhound racing, Dowd retired in 1995.