Tampa Bay Downs is proud to introduce its blog, “Racing in the Sunshine.” By giving visitors an up-close and personal look at the majestic world of Thoroughbred racing, the sport’s participants – racing officials, horsemen, backstretch workers, trainers, jockeys and track employees – hope to entertain and inform fans everywhere.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Danielle Ballou, Aspiring Horsewoman
A Tampa Bay Downs insider’s opinions, observations and
reflections about their favorite sport
Despite being only 13, Danielle Ballou played a role in one
of the meet’s early success stories. At the Ocala Breeders’ Sales June
Two-Year-Old & Horses of Racing Age Sale, Danielle picked out a bay filly
from the consignment of Southern Chase Farm for her father, construction
executive Steve Ballou. Her opinion was confirmed by bloodstock agent Marette Farrell,
and Dad signed the sale ticket for $42,000. Now owned by Steve Ballou, Harriet
Waldron and partners, and trained by Joan Scott, Cor Cor is 2-for-2, including
a scintillating score in the $75,000 Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on
Dec. 1 under jockey Scott Spieth. Cor Cor’s time of 1:10.02 for six furlongs
was a stakes record. The daughter of 1997 champion sprinter Smoke Glacken, out
of a mare by 1986 2-year-old champion Capote, is entered in the Grade III Old
Hat Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 1. Cor Cor is named after Danielle’s older
sister, Corri. Danielle cares for two retired Thoroughbreds at the Ballou home,
riding them on trails at the end of her street.
BEST HORSES EVER
OWNED/SEEN: Cor Cor, of course, is the best horse I’ve ever been a part of.
I saw (2011 Preakness winner) Shackleford in his first race as a 2-year-old at
Keeneland, when one of our horses, Fifth District, finished ahead of him by a
nose. And I was at Gulfstream to watch one of our horses run when (Breeders’
Cup Ladies Classic winner) Royal Delta finished second in the Sabin Stakes to
HOW I GOT STARTED IN
RACING: My dad and my grandfather, Ron Ballou, bought a horse named Who’s
MY BIGGEST INFLUENCES:
In horse racing, Joan Scott and her assistant, Aldana Gonzalez. They are really
good with the horses, know what is best for them and care for them deeply. And
Marette Farrell – I love going to the sales with her.
ONE CHANGE I WOULD
MAKE TO RACING: Ban the use of whips. I think if everyone didn’t use whips,
it would just make the jockeys work harder.
MY FAVORITE SPORTS
TEAM: None, but I played soccer with the West Florida Premier and currently
play volleyball for the Pinellas Heat.
NO. 1 ON MY BUCKET
LIST: Go to the KentuckyDerby.
FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT
TAMPA BAY DOWNS: I like Matt & Tanya’s ice cream downstairs in the
grandstand, and the turf course is really nice.
SHOW/MOVIE: The Hunger Games and Secretariat.
ADVICE TO SOMEONE
STARTING IN RACING: Be confident around the horses and do what it takes to
make them happy. Pay a lot of attention to them!