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The Notebook August 28, 2014

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Out of the Gate with ... Trixie Hammer

Trixie Hammer is the co-founder and editor of LadyandTheTrack.com, which specializes in delivering timely, easy-to-read news to beginners at the track. Hammer’s favorite part of her job is interviewing trainers and owners about the funny characteristics behind the champion horses we all know and love. Hammer hopes that Lady and The Track helps women of all ages to feel empowered at the races. Her best advice to women is, “Never place a bet with your lover’s money, it’s simply bad luck!”

Name: Trixie Hammer

What I do for a living: Founder and managing editor of www.LadyandTheTrack.com

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: I caught the racing bug when I lived in Miami in my 20s and went to a friend’s birthday party at the track. We were all dolled up and feeling fancy, which was fun; but after making my way down to the rail and feeling the rumble of the horse hooves, I was never the same.

My favorite racetrack: Saratoga is magical but I have yet to visit Del Mar and don’t feel like I can answer this question fairly until I do! I have a soft spot at Gulfstream Park right now, too, because fans and friends of Lady and The Track are always super supportive when our team visits there.

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Personally, I really like the early breakfast events that the tracks put on. It’s fun for everyone in the family and quite peaceful to watch the morning workouts. Professionally, I like the excitement of the Triple Crown post positions draws.

Other sports/teams I follow: Nope

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: I’d like to see more help for beginners from the tracks themselves. I’ve personally overheard people at the track questioning each other on how to put their dollars into the machine before getting frustrated and walking away with pockets full of cash. I’ve heard them ask one another why some horses “wear masks” and others don’t. I’d like to see a nice, friendly person in a brightly colored shirt happily answer questions for beginners at the track. Horse tracks can be intimidating at first, especially when placing your very first bet.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Thoroughbred aftercare is astonishing to me. I hear the financial struggles the farms endure trying to take care of the retired horses and animals. It’s shocking and completely unacceptable to me. We try to encourage fans to occasionally donate their winnings to aftercare or even to a local animal shelter.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me:  Lively, regal, and delicate.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Hialeah Park

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Take Charge Indy

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: The race that stands out in my mind the most is the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2013. As soon as Take Charge Indy and Rosie Napravnik hit the dirt on their way to the starting gate, I knew they would win. The entire Lady and The Track team was thrilled for Patrick Byrne and the Sandfords. I never told my family how much money I won that day.

Best racetrack food can be found at: I really enjoy Christine Lee’s above Gulfstream Park after a long day.

My favorite jockey: John Velazquez. Not only is John Velazquez talented but he always nods and smiles for my camera.

My favorite trainer: At this very moment: Christophe Clement.

My heroes: My 4-year-old son has pretty much saved my life. He is my personal superhero!

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Professionally, probably Patti Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing because I think I could learn a thing or two from her. Personally, I’d love to have dinner with handicapper Kari Ward, who writes for Lady and The Track.

My philosophy on life: Life is what you make it.

Favorite quote or motto: “I only drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty.” - Lily Bollinger

Favorite animal other than a horse: Donkeys!

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Baseball is fun but it’s really all about the beer and hot dogs for me.

Favorite food: Champagne

Favorite vacation spot: Anyplace with salt water. I’m pretty sure I should have gills.

Favorite city: I love Austin.

Favorite musician/band: It’s a tie between U2 and Coldplay.

Favorite all-time movie(s): “Sixteen Candles,” “Princess Bride,” and “Four Rooms”.

Favorite TV show: “Kids in the Hall”

Favorite hotel: Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, BVI

Websites I visit daily: This sounds vain but I stare at www.LadyandTheTrack.com like it’s a newborn baby.

What I drive: BMW 328i

Pet peeve: My own bad grammar. Thankfully, editing websites is much easier than print!

Favorite movie about horse racing: I don’t really have one.

Which actor would play me in a movie: Tina Fey

Alma Mater: The song “Beauty School Dropout” pretty much sums it up.

Favorite radio shows/channels: Sirius Radio First Wave, Alt Nation, and TRRN.

Best book I recently read:House in the Sky” by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Favorite memento: The teeny tiny blue and pink beanie cap that came home with my son from the hospital.

Favorite dessert: Anything chocolate

Favorite drink: Champagne!

Favorite scent: Barns and circuses

What I like about my job: Besides being in the presence of magnificent horses, I enjoy collecting tidbits and information about them from their owners and trainers. I also love working with the Lady and The Track team. We have six solid members that live all across the world who contribute to the site. I consider them all dear friends if not family.

Favorite Tech gadget: iPhone

Twitter handle: @LadyAndTheTrack

People I follow on Twitter: Claire Novak, Penelope Miller, Jill Byrne, Breeders’ Cup, Jim Gluckson, Brian Zipse, Danonymous Racing, Fashion at the Races, Kari Ward, and Sigi Mendoza.

No. 1 Bucket-List item: Write a book

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Linda Olson, winner of this week's Fan Photo contest!

From Linda: "Groupie Doll and Judy the Beauty during the 2013 Breeders Cup." Want in? E-mail a picture with a brief description to photos@NTRA.com for consideration!

Photos of the week

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