“His career has been brilliant, and like everyone in the Delaware Park family, I am proud and thankful to have been a part it,” said Kevin DeLucia, chief financial officer. “So much of what Thoroughbred racing at Delaware Park is today has come from his leadership, guidance, and experience over the last four decades. I wish John all the best in his retirement and am truly grateful for the significant contributions he has made to the industry.”
Mooney has been involved in racing in the Mid-Atlantic region for nearly 40 years. Shortly after Delaware Park was purchased and reopened by William Rickman Sr. in 1984, Mooney was named general manager. He was instrumental in keeping Delaware Park competitive in the 1980s and early 1990s with innovations such as the twin trifecta. In the summer of 1993, he left Delaware Park to take a similar post with the Maryland Jockey Club and later headed up the drive to establish racing in Virginia as head of Maryland/Virginia Racing, the group that organized the opening and operation of Colonial Downs. Mooney returned to Delaware Park as the executive director of racing in the spring of 2008 at the request of William Rickman Jr.
Mooney was born into the sport. His grandfather J.D. Mooney won the 1924 Kentucky Derby aboard Black Gold and trained the 1962 Canadian Horse of the Year, Crafty Lace. His father, John J. Mooney, was a prominent horse racing executive who served at many racetracks, including the Ontario Jockey Club, where he played an instrumental role in the development of the “new” Woodbine Racecourse in 1956.
As a young man, Mooney worked on the backstretch while attending school and then worked in several racing office capacities before getting into the racing services area of the industry working for United Totalizator. He later purchased Jones Precision Photo before assuming racetrack management positions.