Get to Know Young Trainer Tony Michael Gattellaro

The Life
Courtesy Tony Michael Gattellaro

Trainer Tony Michael Gattellaro has already won multiple stakes races in his five-year career. Get to know the Woodbine-based conditioner in the fun Q&A below.

My introduction to horse racing occurred when … my dad and grandfather took me to the races as a child.

Gattellaro with his dad at the barn
Gattellaro with his dad at the barn (Courtesy Tony Michael Gattellaro)

In a few words, being a horse trainer is like: Being an artist. 

My daily routine starts with: TDN and Tim Hortons. 

I know it’s going to be a good day when: The radio plays a few good songs on way to the barn. 

Favorite place at the racetrack to watch a race: Our stable box. I like to watch outdoors and cheer my horses on. 

Advice I would give to anyone considering getting into racing as a career: Work with the best people you can. Tell them your goals and dreams. 

Three ways to attract more fans to the sport: 

1. Animal interaction/familiarity

2. Lower track takeout (on winning wagers)

3. Lottery-comparable jackpots 

What is your go-to or signature bet to make at the racetrack: $100 on the nose (to win). 

My biggest gambling score ever at the racetrack was: $12,500 as a minor (purchased my first horse with winnings). 

My top three favorite racetracks in order, and what I like about each one:

1. Santa Anita -The weather/views and history there. 

2. Keeneland -The people and passion for the game. 

3. Saratoga- Boutique meet with big competitive fields. 

What I do when I’m not at the races: I’m an avid sports fan. I’m pretty much consumed by all things athletic. Either playing, watching, or learning. 

One thing that most people don’t know about me is: I originally wanted to be a bloodstock agent and formed a training career from learning to purchase horses. 

Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home: Tough to say. I love the Santa Anita experience. But I know how crucial Breeders’ Cup coming to Woodbine (my home track) in ‘96 was to my passion for the game. 

Favorite international racing event: Dubai World Cup 

Favorite racehorse currently competing: Newspaperofrecord 

Favorite all-time racehorse: Ghostzapper

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Passion, opportunity, patience.

Gattellaro with Clickety Clack after her win
Gattellaro with Clickety Clack after her win (Courtesy Will Wong)

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Winning the 2017 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Canada’s richest race for 2-year-old horses) with a horse (Clickity Clack) I purchased with high school friends. 

Other sports/teams I follow: I played lacrosse and hockey competitively as a kid. I enjoy golf and backcountry skiing. Maple Leafs in the NHL and Raptors in the NBA. 

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Skipped the 2011 Breeders’ Cup to attend my brother’s Lacrosse National Championship win. Well worth it. 

My favorite athletes of all-time: Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey Jr., Michael Jordan. 

Favorite magazines: BloodHorse, GQ 

Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram: Instagram 

Favorite thing to eat after a winning day at the races: Steak after a stakes (win) is always my favorite. 

Least favorite food: Tomatoes 

Best racetrack food can be found at: Woodbine. In a landslide victory. 

 Favorite cocktail: Bourbon on the rocks. 

Top racing websites I visit daily: TDN, BloodHorse, Equibase, HPIBet 

Twitter handle: @TGattellaro 

What apps are on your phone:  WhatsApp, Waze, Uber, Yahoo Fantasy, iRobot (my favorite) 

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing:

1. Bob Baffert

2. Todd Pletcher

3. Aidan O’Brien

I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of Racing:

1. Dabo Swinney

2. Coach K

3. Steve Kerr

My philosophy on life: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. 

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