Barn Notes

Monmouth U. Sophomore Rides in First Race Saturday

Posted Friday, Oct 5, 2012

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            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.

            “A little 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.”

            The 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.

            “The 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.

            “Lindy has 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 back.”

            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.

            “I loved 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.”

            Has her story come full circle?

            “No, because it isn’t over yet,” she said. “It’s only beginning.”


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