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The Notebook January 17, 2013

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Two-Minute Lick - Justin Zayat

Justin Zayat, son of Ahmed Zayat, is a 20-year-old sophomore at NYU and has been involved with Zayat Stables since its inception in 2005. He has learned a lot about the business since then, having managed ten Grade 1 winners including 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) runner-up Bodemeister and 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up and Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) winner Paynter.

Name: Justin Zayat

What I do for a living: Sophomore at New York University, Racing and Stallion Manager at Zayat Stables

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred Racing: My dad’s family owns farms in Egypt, so I used to ride when we went to visit. But 2005, when we started Zayat Stables, is when I really got involved in the racing.

My favorite racetrack: Del Mar

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: The Breeders’ Cup

Other sports/teams I follow: New York Giants, Brooklyn Nets, New York Yankees

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred Racing: Making it a mainstream sport while attracting the younger generation. Also, having a racing commissioner like we have in other sports.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred Racing: I would like the television channels to synchronize so I don’t need to flip back and forth between channels to watch my races. I would also like to see less breakdowns on track.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred Racing means to me: Passion, excitement, competitiveness

What it means to have Paynter win the Vox Populi Award: Paynter is a SPECIAL horse. His courage and determination and his spirit have been an inspiration to me. For people and fans to realize that was the icing on top of the cake.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended: Belmont

Favorite All-time Thoroughbred: Shackleford

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing: Pioneerof the Nile winning the CashCall Futurity. We needed to win this Grade 1 race to be number one in earnings in 2008. He was our first homebred.

Best racetrack food can be found at: Churchill Downs

My favorite jockey: Johnny Velazquez

My favorite trainer: It depends on the week! But Bob Baffert is my number one.

My Heroes: My dad and mom

Person in Thoroughbred Racing I’d like to have dinner with:  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. My dad always speaks very highly of what he has done for his country.

My philosophy on life: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?" (Ethics of Fathers)

Favorite quote or motto: "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." - Wayne Gretzky

Favorite animal other than a horse: My dog Molly

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Super Bowl XXXVIII

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite vacation spot: Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Favorite city: New York City

Favorite Musician/band: Mumford and Sons

Favorite all-time movie(s): Coach Carter

Favorite TV Show: "Law and Order SVU"

Favorite hotel: The Dorchester in London

Websites I visit daily: NYTimes.com, Yahoo.com, ESPN.com, DRF.com, Bloodhorse.com, Zayatstables.com,

What I drive: Infiniti

Pet Peeve: When people don’t clean up after themselves.

Favorite movie about horse racing: Dreamer (2005)

The actor who would play me in a movie: Owen Wilson

Best Book I recently read:  “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom

Favorite Memento: My Derek Jeter signed jersey, personalized to me.

Favorite Dessert: Chocolate soufflé

Favorite Drink: Gatorade fruit punch

Favorite Scent: Acqua Di Gio

What I like about my job: Working with my Dad and doing something I love. Not often in life do people get to work their dream jobs.

Favorite Tech gadget: My iPhone

Twitter Handle: @Justinzayat

People I follow on Twitter: Kobe Bryant, Larry King, Michael Phelps 

No. 1 Bucket List Item: WINNING THE KENTUCKY DERBY!!

 

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations Nancy Wilkinson!

Congratulations to photographer Nancy Wilkinson, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest! From Nancy: "I took this photo of Ebiouissante right after she made her debut win at Hollywood Park." Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief caption to photos@NTRA.com!

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