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The Notebook February 21, 2013

February 21, 2013


Two-Minute Lick - Mary Frances Dale

A graduate of Sewanee, the University of the South, Mary Frances Dale has grown up riding and loving horses. Additionally, she has toured and managed musical artists with independent record labels based out of Austin, Texas and brings excellent "road" knowledge to the ABRV team.

Name: Mary Frances Dale

Hometown: Columbia, Tenn.

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred Racing: I grew up going to the Iroquois Steeplechase with my parents, and that’s where I first caught the horse racing bug. My mother also had horses, so I was riding at a young age and developed a passion for them. After my first Keeneland experience, I was hooked on Thoroughbred racing.

My favorite racetrack: Keeneland

My favorite Thoroughbred-racing event: Keeneland’s spring meet

If you could bring any three people to your favorite Thoroughbred racing event, who would they be?  My mom who loves Thoroughbred racing, my dear friend Kaitlyn Hamilton, and Jennifer Lawrence. She’s my favorite actress right now. 

Other sports/teams I follow: Vanderbilt basketball. Go 'Dores!

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: More young fans who can bring fresh energy to revitalize the sport. That’s the best way to keep the tradition alive.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Less complicated racing forms. We need to have a simplified option for new people at the track or for people who are interested in betting but get a headache from all the stats. The racetrack should be fun — you shouldn’t feel like you’re at work!

Three words that define what Thoroughbred Racing means to me: Competition, excitement, beauty

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Keeneland

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Secretariat

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing: Becoming an ABR Ambassador!

Best racetrack food can be found at: Keeneland. The bourbon bread pudding is to die for. 

My favorite jockey: Rosie Napravnik

My favorite trainer: Todd Pletcher

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Penny Chenery

Favorite animal other than a horse: My 10-year-old Boxer, Gretel

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Vanderbilt football and basketball games. I also can’t leave out Sewanee football games. The tailgates are a sport unto themselves. 

Favorite musician/bands: the Black Keys, Jack White, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and the Grateful Dead. 

Favorite TV Shows: I watch "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show" every night during the week. I’m also a huge fan of "The Office" and I can’t wait for season 5 of "Breaking Bad" to come out on Netflix.

Websites I visit daily: I’m always on Facebook and Twitter, but I also keep up with The New York Times online. Refinery 29 is great for keeping up with fashion, style, and what’s happening in different cities. Death and Taxes updates me on music, politics, and pop culture. Of course I check out ABR’s website all the time.

Favorite movie about horse racing: Seabiscuit

What I like about my job: The chance to travel around the country and bring Thoroughbred racing to a new generation. I also get to work with some amazing people who are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the Thoroughbred industry.

Favorite Tech gadget: My iPad

Twitter Handle: @mayyfrayy

People I follow on Twitter: Rolling Stone, Ray Paulick, Ellen DeGeneres and, of course, ABR

Funniest fellow Brand Ambassador: Victoria, or as I like to call her, Vicky G. She always keeps the whole ABRV crew smiling.

Do the other Brand Ambassadors have any nicknames for you so far? Oh yes, my nickname is Frando. But the others go by Chocolate Chip, Ferndaddy, Vicky G, Hard Dawg, and Josie, like Josie and the Pussycats. 

Race event I am most excited to see this year on the ABRV Tour: It’s a toss up between the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup.

What are three must-haves you’ll be taking with you on the ABRV Tour? My iPhone, a hat for the races, and a good book for long days on the road.

What are some qualities you are looking for in a bus driver? Chelsea Handler would make a fantastic driver. We’d just have to make sure that her “water” wasn’t spiked. 

Which celebrity would be the seventh Brand Ambassador? Trinidad Jame$. He raps while wearing Stubbs and vintage Chanel - what’s not to love? He would definitely add an eccentric vibe to the ABRV. He’s also created one of the most buzz-worthy memes recently. 

Mary Frances – we hear you’re an art fanatic. Who’s your favorite artist right now? Robert Smithson is one of my favorite artists. I love how he incorporates the earth as material and documents his travels. I’m also fascinated be Kevin Russ’s photography, mainly because he travels across the American West and takes amazing shots with his iPhone. I love seeing an artist use new technology that’s specific to our generation. 

Favorite horse racing digital game? I’m not a big “gamer” but I heard about this new game called “Lil’ Horses” coming out soon where you care for your own digital Thoroughbred. It might be able to fill the void my nano pet left when its battery died in 1999.  

Where I want to be in five years and what will I be doing? I want to be working with large-scale cultural events and traveling in some capacity. 

Favorite expression overheard at a race track? “They’re Off!”

Why should Millennials be attracted to Thoroughbred racing? Thoroughbred racing combines everything that’s important to Millennials: competition, parties, fashion, excitement, and fun. You can get dressed up, go out with your friends, enjoy a drink and win some money while watching world-class athletes compete. It’s also extremely affordable compared to other sporting events.  

Leno, Letterman or Kimmel, who’s your guy? None of the above. I’m more of a Colbert fan.  


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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Michele Hope, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Michele: "I took this photo on February 9th during my first trip to Gulfstream Park. I went there specifically to see the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and the show down between Animal Kingdom and Point of Entry and was not disappointed!" Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief description to photos@NTRA.com.

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