On the Rise: Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Migliore

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Gabrielle Migliore Gabby Richard Migliore jockey NYRA veterinarian administrator Thoroughbreds industry careers horse racing hunters jumpers aftercare Horseracing Integrity groom family mother father stall report examination equine medicine
Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Migliore, the daughter of retired jockey and current broadcaster Richard Migliore, is building her own career in the horse industry as administrator of NYRA’s veterinary department. (Eclipse Sportswire/Sophia Donohue Photography)

With a last name that is well known in racing and commands respect, Gabrielle “Gabby” Migliore is the latest member of her family to launch a career in the industry. Migliore, 22, started working for the New York Racing Association as an assistant in the horsemen’s relations department in July 2023. Two months later, she landed a position at NYRA as the administrator of the veterinary department.

Her father, Richard Migliore, was an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice whose decorated career began in 1980 and saw him ride the winners of 4,450 races – the majority taking place on the NYRA circuit. He was forced into retirement in 2010 due to a serious riding injury that caused multiple fractured vertebrae. He now provides his keen expertise as an on-air analyst as part of NYRA’s broadcast team and will also serve in that capacity on FOX Sports during its June 8 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets telecast.

Gabby Migliore’s familial ties in racing also extend to her mother, Carmela, and oldest sibling, Joseph. Carmela worked as an assistant and exercise rider for the late Eclipse Award-winning trainer Stephen A. DiMauro. Joseph is both a bloodstock and jockey agent, and represents the New York-based riders Trevor McCarthy and Katie Davis, who are married.

Gabby Migliore was interviewed May 14, and her answers are edited for clarity and space.

BloodHorse: What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities as NYRA’s veterinary department administrator?

Gabby Migliore: The vets have to examine each horse racing that day in the morning. The day prior to racing, I get a barn/stall report and I go through that and sort it by vet, so each vet gets a certain amount of horses (to examine). I organize the medical records of each horse and give it to the vets so they have them when they do the exams.

After that, I will assist our Lasix coordinator with scratches. She will be in communication with the stewards in the morning and then communicating with me and the vets on what horses are scratched so they don’t have to be examined.

The vet office is also in charge of the TCO2 (total carbon dioxide) testing. The Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit communicates to us in the morning which horses will be tested, so throughout the race day we’ll be going out to the assembly barn and doing the pre-race testing. I accompany the vets to help run the iPad with the necessary signatures, scan the barcode for the blood tube, and then package that up at the end of the day to send to the HIWU lab.

BH: Prior to coming to NYRA, you rode hunters and jumpers and worked as a barn manager. Why did you make a career change?

GM: In 2020, I started grooming. I just fell in love with the whole process of being at the barn every day. I then ended up in Wellington (Fla.), which is the big leagues for the hunter and jumper world, and had wonderful experiences seeing that side of the horse business. I learned a ton. I’ve been so lucky to have wonderful mentors (with regard to) my riding, barn managing, and grooming.

I came back up north and kept doing the same thing, but really grew into loving the managing side of things.

Being hands-on with the horses every day on the ground and then being able to ride them was just a really special experience.

As much as I loved the hands-on experience with the horses, it was very exhausting… traveling all the time. Within that world there is not as much stability as there is in horse racing. Of course, growing up in racing, I always had a love for it. I love Thoroughbreds. All the off-the-track Thoroughbreds I rode while working with hunters and jumpers had incredible minds. They were kind and sweet.

When the job opportunity came up in Saratoga to work in the horsemen’s relations department, it just felt right to go and explore the racing world, which is something my family is so passionate about. I took that opportunity and saw how much racing has to offer, and truly fell in love with it.

BH: What was the experience like of having your father being a jockey? He suffered some serious injuries during his career – was it scary for you to watch him ride races?

GM: It was just incredible to watch my father’s work ethic throughout my childhood. His dedication to the horses is really what has stuck with me.

He dealt with a lot of adversity throughout his career, and he never stopped going after what he wanted. It was a wonderful experience when things were great and, of course, difficult and heartbreaking when he was injured. But that taught me a lot about his work ethic and how he persevered through all of that.

I don’t know that I was ever scared watching him ride races because I don’t think my parents were ever scared. They are so passionate about horse racing and my dad loved what he did, so it never carried the air of nervousness or being scared. It was just amazing to watch my dad do what he loved.

BH: When your dad suffered a fall during a race in January 2010, which eventually led to his retirement five months later, how did your family cope with this upheaval?

Working with hunters and jumpers. (Samantha Emerson/Kind Media)

GM: It was difficult, but my parents handled it the best they could. My dad was in so much pain after his fall. I remember we had just moved (to Millbrook, N.Y.), and we were watching the races on TV. My poor mom had been through that so many times before – watching a race and seeing things not go the way you want them to.

My parents did such an amazing job letting us know that everything would be OK. Everyone really banded together. My mom is incredible. We all just worked together, although, obviously, it was a very difficult time.

Looking back now, and seeing how seamlessly my dad entered his role within the TV world and really kept going, was amazing because he could still be involved in the industry he loved.

BH: The Migliores are known to be a tight-knit family. In what ways has that shaped who you are?

GM: Everyone in my family are my go-to people; my family is pretty cool. It shaped me into someone who really prioritizes my family. We all have this bond of horses. Even though two of my brothers, Philip and Luciano, don’t work in the industry, horses were so much of what we grew up with. I’m so lucky both my parents shaped me into the horse person I am today.

BH: What is it that you like most about working in the racing industry?

GM: The community. When my dad hosted the dinner for this year’s New York-bred awards, he said, ‘Look around, would you know any of these people if it weren’t for horse racing? Would you have these bonds or connections?’

I see that (community) every day, being in the barns, being in the office. I just love how these horses bring people together. It’s a really cool thing and it carries an energy that excites you. All over the horse world, so many people are bonded because of horses, but at the racetrack, specifically, there is just such a community with so many people who are dedicated to these horses. Being able to work with the veterinary staff at NYRA, I’m just in awe of them every day. I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I am in the office because I learn so much from them. It’s probably the coolest job in the world to me at least.

BH: What is the best advice you have received from your parents?

GM: The horse always comes first. I would call them some days when I was working with hunters and jumpers and feeling a little bit defeated. They would say, ‘It’s all about the horses; you’re with the horses and that is all that matters. When you go to the barn, that is what you channel your energy into.’ I’ve carried that with me. It’s the voice in my mind. 

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