News & Barn notes

29-Year-Old Trainer Charley D’Amodio Notches First Career Win During Monmouth Park’s Monday Card

September 02, 2019

Despite having just a two-horse stable, trainer Charley D’Amodio only need six starts to notch her first career victory.

The former assistant to the late Joe Zoppi broke through when Candy Cane Lane held on gamely for a nose victory in the second race on Monday at Monmouth Park, going gate to wire over a sloppy track at odds of 27-1.

“I knew he was ready to run,” the 29-year-old D’Amodio said. “He was telling me he was ready. Joe Zoppi always told me `listen the horse. They’ll tell you.’ ”

Candy Cane Lane, a 4-year-old gelding, was coming off a second-place finish on Aug. 2 at odds of 28-1 – the first time D’Amodio had hit the board since going out on her own this year at the outset of the Monmouth Park meet. One of the horse’s two career victories came over a sloppy track a year ago, before D’Amodio was the trainer.

“It feels good to do something that people have told me I couldn’t do,” said D’Amodio. “I chose my own path in becoming a trainer and if I had listened to all the people who said I shouldn’t do it or couldn’t do it I wouldn’t be in the winner’s circle today.”

Candy Cane Lane, owned by RHR Stables, returned $56.40 to win, determinedly holding off the stretch-long challenge of Optic Way in the mile and a sixteenth allowance option claimer that carried a $50,000 purse.