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Catch up with ABRV Brand Ambassador John Cox as he  talks about the ABRV's final day at the South by Southwest Festival in this ABRV-produced diary of the event. South by Southwest was the first event of the ambassadors' tour.


South by Southwest

Austin, Texas

March 14-16

Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park

Miami, Fla.

March 27-30

Baltimore, Md.

April 3-6

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes


Lexington, Ky.

April 10-13

Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs

Louisville, Ky.

May 1-4

Preakness Stakes


Baltimore, Md.

May 15-18

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Park

New York, N.Y.

June 5-8

ESPY Awards

Los Angeles, Calif.

July 10

Del Mar Opening Day

Del Mar

San Diego, Calif.

July 17-20

Haskell Invitational

Monmouth Park

Oceanport, N.J.

July 24-28

Whitney Invitational


Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

July 31-August 3

Saratoga Special


Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

August 7-10

Arlington Million


Chicago, Ill.

August 14-17

Pacific Classic

Del Mar

San Diego, Calif.

August 21-25

MTV Music Awards

Los Angeles, Calif.

September 8

Awesome Again Stakes

Santa Anita Park

Los Angeles, Calif.

September 25-28

Breeders’ Cup

Santa Anita Park

Los Angeles, Calif.

October 26-November 3

*Dates/Events Subject to Change 

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Jose Contreras Story

Jose Contreras was first introduced to horse racing as a youngster when his father took him to Santa Anita Park and he's followed horses since. With no personal connections to the racetrack other than as a fan, he concentrated on the handicapping and wagering aspects of horse racing.

One of his biggest accomplishments as a handicapper was hitting a $65,904 pick six in 2006 at the age of 21.

Contreras has covered the Southern California Thoroughbred racing circuit for different websites and also on his blog where he covers stakes races as well as offering new fans tips on handicapping.

He has focused on introducing new fans to the race track and also helped out in Santa Anita's "Tweet In the Suite" event, where social media allowed fans to interact and meet trainers, jockeys, and media personnel.

Contreras aspires to help the racing industry grow through fan education, marketing, social media, reporting and handicapping. He studied at The University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program.

Check out Jose's introductory blog for ABR.

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John -Cox STory

Born and raised in Lexington, Ky., John Cox grew up attending the races at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Saratoga.

His family's company, Thorough-Graphics in Lexington, has been serving horsemen for more than 30 years.

Cox served as a marketing intern at Keeneland, an assistant staff writer for Brisnet.com, Tote-board operator for Fasig-Tipton Sales Co., and spent a summer working with yearlings at Lane's End Farm, in addition to marketing and sales responsibilities at Thorough-Graphics.

Cox is a University of Kentucky and Lexington Catholic High School alum, and also graduated from the Missouri Auction School in 2008.

In addition to horse racing, Cox also loves University of Kentucky sports, music and golf.

Check out John's introductory blog for ABR.

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Mary Frances Dale Story

Mary Frances Dale was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1989.  

She grew up in Columbia, Tenn., and graduated magna cum laude from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., with a double major in Art History and Classical Languages.

During her junior year abroad, Dale attended Lincoln College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

In the summer of 2012, Dale was social media and marketing intern at Playing in Traffic Records in Austin, Texas. While at the label, her main goal was to heighten the online presence of the five bands represented by the label, including the Grammy-Award winning Los Lonely Boys. She also traveled around the country to various music festivals and venues promoting the British folk-rock band The Dunwells on their U.S. summer tour.

Growing up in the heart of Tennessee horse country, Dale has always had a passion for all things equine.

Check out Mary's introductory blog for ABR.

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Hallie -Hardy Story

Hallie Davis Hardy is a Kentucky girl, born and raised. 

Hardy grew up in Frankfort, Ky., and developed a passion for horses at an early age. She first began riding when she was six, showing Saddlebred horses. 

Keeneland Race Course was a favorite destination of her youth when she attended and learned to handicap races with her parents and grandmother each spring and fall. 

As Hardy grew older and college approached, she became more interested in the Thoroughbred industry and decided to pursue an education in the Equine program at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Once there, she began to work on Thoroughbred farms near Lexington to better understand the industry and potential equine careers. 

Hardy's experiences at Royal Pegasus, Three Chimneys and WinStar farms include farm management, bloodstock research, tours and marketing. 

Hardy graduated this December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science and Management with a minor in Agricultural Economics. Hardy has added to her college and life experiences by participating in key leadership roles in her Chi Omega sorority. She helped to raise significant sums for Make a Wish Foundation and participated in the school’s largest fundraiser, Dance Blue. 

A Type 1 diabetic, Hardy is also proud of her many years mentoring and fundraising for the American Diabetes Association. Thanks to her school, work and life experiences, Hardy is poised to share her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry and Thoroughbred racing to a broader audience.  

Check out Hallie's introductory blog for ABR.

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Victoria Garofalo Story

Hailing from "The Big Apple," New York, Victoria Garofalo was bred, born and raised in the Thoroughbred racing lifestyle, with most summers joyfully spent in Saratoga Springs.

She has previously been employed by The Walt Disney Co. as a cast member at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, a production assistant intern at LIVE! with Regis and Kelly and as a Disney College Program Campus Representative at her college.

Garofalo is the eldest of three girls, and her family’s lived motto and mantra is “Food, Fun, Friends and Family.” 

Her mission is to align her infectious enthusiasm, talent and passion for "The Greatest Game," by informing, encouraging and inspiring as many people as possible to experience firsthand the magic and enchantment that Thoroughbred racing offers coast to coast. 

Garofalo is a recent graduate from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication: Broadcasting and Public Relations and a minor in Management.

Check out Victoria's introductory blog for ABR.

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Chip -Mc Gaughey Story

Chip McGaughey has spent the greater part of his life living in Lexington, Ky.  

McGaughey is an alumnus of Lexington Catholic High School. In 2010 earned his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Kentucky.  

He has grown up surrounded by the sport of competitive thoroughbred horse racing and frequents racetracks as often as possible.  

Growing up McGaughey has learned about the sport from his family and is looking forward to using this knowledge to promote interest in horse racing to a new and younger fan base.  

He has a professional background working in marketing and sales.  

During his free time he enjoys playing golf, spending time with his family, running, exercising, attending University of Kentucky sporting events, and of course visiting the racetrack. He currently lives in Lexington, Ky.

Check out Chip's introductory blog for ABR.

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John Cox

John Cox has worked as a brand ambassador for America's Best Racing, a staff writer for Churchill Downs, and has grown up around racing his entire life.

A University of Kentucky alum and Lexington, Ky. native, Cox currently serves as communications director of the Kentucky state Senate.

Image Description

John Cox

John Cox has worked as a brand ambassador for America's Best Racing, a staff writer for Churchill Downs, and has grown up around racing his entire life.

A University of Kentucky alum and Lexington, Ky. native, Cox currently serves as communications director of the Kentucky state Senate.

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