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.



HOMETOWN: Tarpon Springs, FL.

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 Awesome Maria.

HOW I GOT STARTED IN RACING: My dad and my grandfather, Ron Ballou, bought a horse named Who’s There.

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 Kentucky Derby.

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT TAMPA BAY DOWNS: I like Matt & Tanya’s ice cream downstairs in the grandstand, and the turf course is really nice.

FAVORITE TV 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!


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