Among the many talented young professionals in the world of racing, there are few as dynamic as Claudia Elena Spadaro. Born in Venezuela, Spadaro has developed a multi-national following as her star has grown in the U.S. as one of the main handicappers and on-air personalities for HipicaTV.
Spadaro is based at Gulfstream Park, not far from her alma mater at the University of Miami. We sent her some questions so that we could get to know her a little better.
You can also catch her live on our Twitter (@ABRLive), alongside the New York Racing Association’s en Espanol handicapper Darwin Vizcaya, every Friday at 11 a.m. ET as she co-hosts the English-Spanish streaming show la Exacta Ganadora (The Winning Exacta).
What I do in racing: I’m a handicapper for HipicaTV, a channel that broadcasts racing in Spanish from Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Santa Anita, and Golden Gate Fields (all 1/ST racetracks owned by The Stronach Group, which launched HipicaTV in 2017).
My first memory of horse racing was: Watching the races with my dad while eating “Tequeños” when I was like 2 years old at my hometown racetrack in Valencia, Venezuela.
My daily routine starts with: Checking Twitter
I know it’s going to be a good day when: It’s sunny and I’m drinking my coffee with some music.
Favorite place at the racetrack to watch a race: On the third-floor balcony (alone) at Gulfstream.
Advice I would give to anyone considering getting into racing as a career: It is a very competitive industry (in every aspect). So, work hard and always be true to yourself! Don’t give up. Dream Big, but stay humble always.
The best way to attract more fans to the sport is to: Be real and show them the human side of horse racing. We have to show the world that we love these animals. That we really care for horses. Horse racing is not just betting. It’s about love and passion for horses.
My favorite type of bet to make at the racetrack is: The Pick 6
My biggest gambling win ever at the racetrack was: I once hit a Rainbow 6 ticket at Gulfstream Park that paid $16,000 on a $100 ticket. And one time, I had an “only ticket” in the Pick 6 at Laurel Park.
My top three favorite racetracks in order, and what I like about each one:
Gulfstream Park — It’s my second home and I love the view of the track and the ocean in the back.
Saratoga — Come on, have you felt the energy of that place?
Keeneland — It’s simply amazing.
What I do when I’m not at the races: I spend quality time with my family!
One thing that most people don’t know about me is: I’m an amazing cook (I really am).
Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home: Definitely rotate coast to coast.
Favorite international racing event: Royal Ascot
Favorite racehorse currently competing: Enable
Favorite all-time racehorse: Zenyatta
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Love, happiness, passion
Accomplishment I am most proud of: Being able to work in English. I still get self-conscious about it, but I have been working really hard on my accent. And, it’s getting better day by day.
Other sports/teams I follow: Tennis, NBA, soccer (A.S. Roma)
Favorite non-horse racing sports event I have attended: Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, Soccer Serie A
My favorite athletes of all-time: Roger Federer, Lebron James
Favorite thing to eat after a winning day at the races: Wine, pasta or steak with truffle French Fries.
Least favorite food: Olives
Favorite cocktail: Margarita
Top racing websites I visit daily: Equibase
Twitter handle: @claudiaspadaro
My favorite apps on my phone are: Twitter and Instagram
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing: Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama, Oprah … #GirlPower
My philosophy on life: Be grateful! Enjoy the little things in life! Be present and love your family.