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The Notebook May 16, 2013

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Two-Minute Lick - Tatiana Schoeppler

Tatiana Schoeppler is a 26-year-old resident and commercial real estate agent from Los Angeles, Calif. Having spent most of her life growing up in sunny Florida, she described capturing the title of Ms. Racing Queen in her home state as extra special. Tatiana is more than just a pretty face in the crowd as she graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in economics in 2009 and moved to California to pursue opportunity in a big city. She has accomplished many things over the years, and in 2008 was a NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Girl Cheerleader where she had the privilege of volunteering her time making visits to wounded veterans. In 2009, she also served as director of a non-profit organization aimed at brightening the lives of pediatric cancer patients. This year, she intends to run a half-marathon to raise money and awareness for Crohn's Disease, a disease that affects her brother and close friend. Tatiana intends to use her title as Ms. Racing Queen to educate the general public on the industry and history of Thoroughbred horse racing and hopes to attract a younger audience to the races.

Name: Tatiana Schoeppler

What I do for a living: Prior to the Ms. Racing Queen competition I was a commercial real-estate broker. Having won the title I’ve left my job to focus 100% of my time on the racing industry and my role as ambassador to Stronach Group.

Hometown: I’m originally from Tampa, Fla., and currently live in Los Angeles, Calif.

How you were introduced to Thoroughbred racing: When I first entered the competition for Ms. Racing Queen, that was really the first time I was exposed to Thoroughbred horse racing, so this is rather new to me.

What’s your favorite racetrack: I honestly love Santa Anita. I love the mountains in the background and I love the historic feel that it has and the energy that’s given off here.

Since you’re fairly new to racing, what’s been your favorite thing that you’ve experienced so far? Everything has been so exciting, but I’ve really enjoyed learning about the jockeys and their histories and where they come from. They are truly athletes; before I was involved with this experience I thought they were just jumping on the horses and off they rode. It’s really cool to realize how much work they put in.

Favorite racing event so far: The Santa Anita Derby - cheering on Goldencents and rock star jockey Kevin Krigger across the finish line!

What you would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing:  The mission of Ms. Racing Queen is to go out and draw a younger audience (to the sport.) I’d like to publicize that the racetrack is here and that the racing is amazing. I’d like to help highlight that this is an thrilling sport and they should come out and attend.

Three words that define Thoroughbred racing for you: “Competitive,” because I’m a competitive person by nature and I really see that on the track. “Passionate,” because people are really passionate about what they do: the trainers, the jockeys, the owners as well as the grooms and other horsemen. Also, “exciting,” because this is truly an exciting sport to be a part of.

Who’s your favorite trainer so far? Doug O’Neill and his the entire racing stable team.  He’s opened his barn to me and his whole staff has let me pick their brains answering any question I through their way.

Favorite jockey: I like Kevin Krigger – he’s pretty awesome.

Who in Thoroughbred racing would you most like to have dinner with: As many jockeys as possible – I’d love learn more about each of their stories, especially the women. I’m so fascinated to hear about where they come from – they’re such a diverse group.

Favorite musician or band: Goo Goo Dolls, so excited to meet them at the Preakness!

Favorite TV show: Addicted to Game of Thrones

Favorite websites: I’m a Facebooker – I also like to read the news and lately find myself on the Paulick Report and DRF.

Favorite movie about horse racing: I actually watched Seabiscuit prior to entering the Ms. Racing Queen competition, and to me it was great because it was a true story about an underdog; nobody thought that he could come out and win and he did.

Favorite tech gadget: I love my iPhone – I can’t live without it.  

Twitter handle: My personal Twitter handle is @TweetTatiana, and I also have @MsRacingQueen.

Who you follow on Twitter: I follow some of the jockeys, I follow Goldencents the horse (@TheGoldencents) as well as friends and family, but not too many celebrities.

What are you really excited to tell potential horse racing fans? That racing is for everyone at every age! I’m excited to share with new fans the passion and commitment everyone in racing has to the sport! Personally, before I came out to the racetrack, I didn’t realize just how exciting it was. Nothing beats cheering your horse around the corner down the home stretch.

We heard that you’ve been visiting the backstretch. Can you tell us about that? I love the backstretch! It’s one of those things that, being new to this, I didn’t realize how many people work back there with the horses. It was a really neat experience. At Clocker’s Corner (at Santa Anita Park) there are tons of people out there – I actually tried the infamous Van Berg sandwich. It has peanut butter, bologna, mayonnaise and tomato on white bread, and it tasted pretty good, actually!

The Preakness will be the first Triple Crown event you’ve ever been to. Can you tell us what you’re looking forward to? I’m really excited about it! I’ve never been to Baltimore before, so that will be something new, too. I’m definitely excited to see the racetrack, feel the energy of a large crowd and meet more of the amazing people that work for The Stronach Group. Plus I’m a crab cake person, so I’m definitely having some while I’m there.

Must-haves for travelling to a racetrack: Fabulous dresses, a fantastic hat and great walking shoes. I know I just named three things that are wardrobe-related, but I think there’s something regal about being able to dress up for these races.

Horse racing is the only sport that people still dress up for. What is it about the atmosphere of the races that inspires people to look their best? It’s the Sport of Kings, so it’s something that is elegant and there’s a prestige to the sport. For me, it’s fantastic that there’s still that standard that people have held onto. Racing attracts people from every walk of life, but I think that everyone can dress up to be a part of it.

Why should young people come to the races? This is a fantastic sport with instant gratification. We watch baseball and we watch football and all of these different team events, and there really is a team that’s behind these horses. It takes a team to get these horses to run across the finish line, and that’s appealing. Also the fact that you can dress regally and can feel brilliant when you’re at the racetrack. It’s a whole new experience, it’s exciting and I really think that there’s a lot for new fans to enjoy.

Leno, Letterman or Kimmel: who ya got? Leno! I lived in Andover, Mass., for a while, and Leno’s from Andover, so he’s the hometown choice.

Favorite all-time horse: Seabiscuit; just love the story!

Do you bet? I do – I’m decent, but I’m not great, so I’m hoping to improve my handicapping skills and to dive more into the technicalities behind figuring out the best ways to place a bet.

What’s the biggest score you’ve had so far? I won $180 off of Goldencents’ victory in the Santa Anita Park Derby.

 

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