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The Notebook January 23, 2014

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Out of the Gate with ... Peter Rotondo, Jr.

Peter Rotondo, Jr. has been going to the races since he was 4 months old with his first trip being to Saratoga Race Course. His passion for racing led him to the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program in Tucson, Ariz., where he earned a bachelor's degree. Following school, he worked for one year at Daily Racing Form before moving to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. In 2006, he began working for the Breeders' Cup and holds the position of vice president of media and entertainment. His experiences have led him to be part of a new reality show for the recently launched Esquire Network. The show is aptly named “Horseplayers” and follows Rotondo and his castmates on a tour of the best racing venues in the U.S. in the pursuit of the title of Handicapper of the Year and a $750,000 prize at the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

Name: Peter Rotondo, Jr.

What I do for a living: Try to make people happy while working for the Breeders’ Cup. I’m also currently a part-time reality show participant appearing in “Horseplayers” on Esquire Network at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesdays.

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: Dad at 4 months old in the backyard at Saratoga

My favorite racetrack: Saratoga

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Breeders’ Cup

Other sports/teams I follow: New York Giants

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: Positivity

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Negativity

3 words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Life, passion and love.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Saratoga

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Zenyatta

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: Hmm … too many to name but professionally, Zenyatta winning the 2009 [Breeders’ Cup] Classic. Wagering-wise, it would be picking the ice-cold superfecta in the ’98 Classsic while hitting the Pick 6 on the same race.

Best racetrack food can be found at: Saratoga

My favorite jockey: Angel Cordero Jr.

My favorite trainer: Mike Miceli

My heroes: My parents and grandparents

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with:  Queen Elizabeth

My philosophy on life: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

Favorite quote or motto: #gethot #stayhot

Favorite animal other than a horse: Italian greyhound

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Super Bowl in Indy (Giants over Patriots)

Favorite food: My Grammy’s meatballs

Favorite vacation spot: Saratoga

Favorite city: Saratoga Springs

Favorite musician/band: Guns N’ Roses and Axl Rose

Favorite all-time movie(s): “Goodfellas

Favorite TV Show: “Fashion Police

Favorite hotel: Hmm…. not sure I found my favorite yet but I’m on the hunt!

Websites I visit daily: Chase, Deadspin, DRF and Paulick Report

What I drive: I don’t drive (10 car accidents and over 40 moving violations … eek)

Pet peeve: Cheap people

Favorite movie about horse racing: “Let It Ride

Which actor would play me in a movie: Unfortunately, Chris Kattan; on a good day, Robert Downey Jr.

Alma Mater: Arizona Racetrack Industry Program

Favorite radio shows/channels: “Howard Stern Show

Best Book I recently read:  “Artie Lange: Too Fat to Fish”

Favorite memento: My late Uncle Pete’s partner’s pinky ring

Favorite dessert: Profiteroles

Favorite drink: Glenlivet on the rocks

Favorite scent: Sunday gravy

What I like about my job: Everything except the politics

Favorite Tech gadget: iPhone

Twitter Handle: @retro411

People I follow on Twitter: So many … start with @breederscup

No. 1 Bucket-List item: Have to get to the homeland – Italy

 

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Mary M. Meek, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Mary: "John Velazquez looking happy on a Todd Pletcher horse at Palm Meadows." Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief caption to photos@NTRA.com!

Photos of the week

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