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Friday, June 16, 2023Contact: Gary Falter (859) 224-2803
Thoroughbred Owner Conference Series Panel Discusses Preparing for Race Day

On Tuesday, June 13, OwnerView hosted the fifth panel, Preparing for Race Day, in its Virtual Thoroughbred Owner Conference series with trainers Jena Antonucci, who just became the first female trainer to win the Belmont Stakes, with Arcangelo; Ken McPeek, who won the 2020 Preakness Stakes with Swiss Skydiver; and multiple-stakes winner Joe Sharp and owner Ramiro Restrepo, who won the 2023 Kentucky Derby with Mage.

The conference is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and sponsored by Bessemer Trust, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and The Green Group. This panel was sponsored by Centennial Farms.

Attendees were able to ask questions through Zoom’s Q&A feature, sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds, and questions were answered at end of the webinar.

The panel was hosted by OwnerView’s project manager, Gary Falter, who started the panel by sharing videos created by America’s Best Racing (ABR) showing each trainer leading up to or during a big race and then discussing topics such as starting first-time horses, 2-year-olds vs. older horses, gate training, and the importance of grooms, exercise riders, and farriers.

Regarding first-time starters, all three trainers agreed that winning is not the goal; it is more important to get the horse settled and confident.

“Long-term I think the horses that are able to settle and finish with energy the first few times and then, you know, go on to get there second or third time out are the ones that we seem to do better with down the road,” Sharp said.

Antonucci said that most trainers train “basically the same way,” but the difference is the details that go on inside the barn. “We make sure the horse, first, is thriving and happy,” she said.

Speaking of grooms and exercise riders, McPeek said, “Well, you want continuity. A groom that’s had the same horse for an extended period I think is a really good idea. A rider that’s on the same horse every day certainly can give you feedback.”

The panel also featured an ABR video that followed Restrepo leading up to Mage’s Kentucky Derby win and a discussion with Restrepo on what role owners play on race day.

Restrepo emphasized the importance for ownership groups to have everything organized before race day. “There is already so much stress in preparation that the trainer has, that’s the last thing you want them to worry about is to take on the responsibilities of the ownership group,” he said.

A replay of all the conference panels can be viewed here:

Six more Thoroughbred Owner Conference virtual panels are scheduled for 2023.
The next session will be held July 11 at 2 p.m. ET and will feature how jockeys prepare mentally and physically for race day. A full schedule can be found here:

There is no registration fee for the virtual conference series, but registration is required. For more information about the owner conference, please visit or contact Gary Falter at 859.224.2803 or

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.