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HRN Original Blog:
Race Talk with the Girl Next Door


Sorry about the long break, it has been a hectic time personally for me and a rather slow time in horseracing. The Triple Crown is over with three different horses winning leaving us with a very non-eventful rest of the year. I am having a hard time feeling the excitement right now. The older division is blah and the three year old division has no real superstar leaving me to wonder…who will save us?


Last year we lost Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to retirement and then Quality Road and Blame went with them, leaving us with champion 3 year old Lookin at Lucky to soar this year and then he retired too.


We had an exciting road to the Derby this year with no real stand out besides Uncle Mo who did absolutely NOTHING this year, then scratched out of the Derby. An almost non-contender won the Derby, a horse nobody talked about won the Preakness and I am still trying to figure out who the hell the horse is that won the sloppy Belmont. The most fascinating story to come out of the Derby was the jockey switch, the best thing to come out of the Preakness was the idea that the Derby winner and Preakness winner would meet again in the Belmont in a battle of the 2011 Titans, and the biggest story to come out of the Belmont was the UNINTENTIONAL injury to Animal Kingdom. What can I look forward to? What are you looking forward to? I have nothing folks and usually when I finish a season, the most exciting races of the year, for me, do not come from the Triple Crown or the Breeder’s Cup but the summer races.


My favorite race of 2009 was the Haskell. It was my favorite Rachel moment. Something so exciting about watching her in her second match-up against the boys; it was the race that proved her triumph against the boys was no fluke. I was so nervous leading up to the race and was very uneasy about the muddy track.  It was something spectacular to see her trudging through the slop to the finish line. I could feel Calvin’s emotion through the television as I watched, as he started pumping his fist in victory before he reached the finish line. Although that was my favorite race, we had a full year of superhorses and now we wait for a star to rise.


In 2010, I attended the Breeder’s Cup and have to say that all the races were exciting, especially the Classic…but my favorite moment was the Whitney. I followed Blame in his 2009 season and was ecstatic about his 2010 return, but never watched Quality Road. I can remember the lead up to the Whitney, all the stations talking about the “great” Quality Road meeting up with Blame…what would happen and who would win. It was like the lead up to the ‘movie of the summer’, the biggest cliff hanger being revealed. My confidence in Blame did not falter and I believed in him through it all and he came in. The lead up to the race was great and the race was even better. The way Blame ran that race; I knew he was a force. The photo of Quality Road and Blame running to the finish line seals the whole race. Blame, the fighter, with his dirt covered body laying it down to come up on top battling the clean connections of the ‘great’ Quality Road. The photo is etched into my memory and that is what comes to mind when we talk about how exciting racing is.


This year, we have…who? It is such a shame that all of these horses (Zenyatta excluded) are retired so soon. Think of how dominate some of these horses could have been this year. How can we talk these connections into keeping their racehorses racing??? I understand money and I understand standing at stud, there are risks, but this is a gambling sport the whole point is to take risks.


Imagine Blame was not retired, could we have seen a Dubai World Cup in his future? Imagine Lookin at Lucky was not retired, would he be leading the top 200 active horse list? Imagine Quality Road was not retired, could we have experienced a long-term, drag out war between him and Blame—a new rivalry? What a shame! With an industry that needs them so much, who will give us our next superstar?


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That's the great thing about this game ... there is always a new star coming just around the corner.

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.

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