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