She’s paid her dues as an
exercise rider every morning during the five-month long meet at Monmouth Park. On Saturday, Lindy Gott finally
gets to ride in the afternoon.
bit,” she replied candidly when asked if she’s jumping out of her skin at the
prospect of officially realizing her childhood dream of becoming a jockey. “But
I am trying to keep calm. I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be. It’s time to
see what I have.”
19-year-old sophomore at Monmouth
University chose the
school, where she is a dean’s list student majoring in business with a
concentration on marketing and management, because of its proximity to the
racetrack. She’s also been getting schooled at the racetrack, where she has
studied reels of films with the stewards and gotten pointers from some active
and retired riders in the jockey’s room while working on the Equicizer, which
simulates a Thoroughbred’s movements in a race.
Gott, who began riding at age nine
and got her first pony at 13, has been working horses for co-trainers John
Forbes and Pat McBurney and Danny Lopez, who are stabled on two sides of the
same barn. In Saturday’s sixth race, Lopez will give her a leg up on Jack Taylor,
a horse she worked for him on a recent morning.
stewards want you to ride only horses you are familiar with in the races when
you start out and you can’t ride two-year-olds, first-time starters, or on the
turf until after you’ve won your fifth race,” said Gott, who is a natural
lightweight at 5’ and 100 pounds.
been working for us for three years and she’s a pretty good rider. She’s tough,
too, despite her size,” said McBurney. “She is very confident on a horse’s
Gott, who is named on four mounts on
the Sunday card here, got her start working for Joan Milne at Sterlingbrook
Farm near Pittstown, New Jersey when she was 16. One of her
mounts on Sunday will be aboard Celtic Blessing, a mare she broke at the Farm
when the horse was a baby.
her and was very attached to her. When she went off to the track, it was the
hardest day of my life because I couldn’t go with her,” said Gott. “I would
come to Joan’s barn just to visit her. I was the first one to sit on her back, and
now I get to do it again, and for Joan, but in a race this time.”
story come full circle?
because it isn’t over yet,” she said. “It’s only beginning.”
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