- About Us
Jockey Ann Sanguinetti makes big impression in first season | Emerald Downs
For jockeys, it's never easy acquiring new business in a sport known for its strong loyalty and fierce competition. Anne Sanguinetti, however, has already started to turn heads and make favorable impressions in her first full season at Emerald Downs.
Born in Michigan but raised in the Bay Area, Sanguinetti has thrived in her new role as first-call rider for leading trainer and fellow Emerald Downs' newcomer Jeff Metz. Both are hoping to become mainstays here, but it can be considerably more difficult for a jockey to gain momentum in new surroundings, since returning riders normally have inroads to the bigger barns.
Together, however, Metz and Sanguinetti have benefited from each other's open books to start the season. In fact, they lead all jockey-trainer combinations with 15 wins at the meet and could catch trainer Tim McCanna and jockey Ricky Frazier who combined to win 35 races in 2009. Metz, who sits atop the trainers' standings with 19 (Thoroughbred) wins, said Sanguinetti has been great to work with.
"Anne is such a pleasure to have around the barn," Metz said. "I didn't know anybody up here, and I wanted somebody in my corner. She's been terrific."
Sanguinetti's hot start has parlayed itself into new business with other Emerald Downs trainers. Last week, for example, Sanguinetti rode four winners for four different trainers en route to her first Jockey of the Week selection. The 32-year-old pilot enters the week sixth in the standings with 19 wins, and she has 13 mounts scheduled with seven different trainers this week. Modest and soft-spoken (although her winning song is Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin) Sanguinetti has begun to see the results of her success.
"Any time you go some place new, you have to prove yourself," she said. "Now I'm starting to work for some other barns and trainers are giving me a shot on their horses."
Sanguinetti's foray into race riding began in 2004 when she galloped horses for renowned trainer and former Eclipse Award-winning rider Wesley Ward at Hollywood Park. Simultaneously, Sanguinetti studied Economics at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Insistent that she turn professional, Ward pleaded with Sanguinetti to start her riding career while still in school.
"He kept begging me and begging me to ride in a race," Sanguinetti said. "I told him that I have to graduate before I ride a horse."