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The Notebook October 02, 2013

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Out of the Gate with ... Rachel McLaughlin

Rachel McLaughlin is the television commentator and marketing specialist at Indiana Downs, where the 19th running of the Indiana Derby and the Indiana Oaks will be run on Saturday. A lifelong horse lover, McLaughlin is often found in the Indiana Downs paddock offering analysis and tips on the Hoosier State’s only Thoroughbred racetrack.

Name: Rachel McLaughlin

Hometown: Anderson, Ind.

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: I grew up in Anderson, where Hoosier Park is located. I remember going to the track in high school to bet the ponies.

First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

My favorite racetrack: Indiana Downs - how could I say any other track?!

My top three racetracks I want to visit: Churchill Downs, Santa Anita Park, Arlington International Race Course

Most money I have won betting horse races: $300 exacta – honestly I don’t have time to bet! I need to be away from where I work to enjoy betting.

Other sports/teams I follow: Football and tennis

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: Young people! This sport is so fun for people my age!

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Injuries. I’m a horse lover and avid rider, so when horses get hurt, I get hurt.

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Excitement, fun and money!

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: Rachel Alexandra (duh!)

Best racetrack food can be found at: Indiana Downs! Chef Greg is the BEST!

My favorite jockey: Gary Stevens

My heroes: My dad, he raised my brother and I pretty much by himself from the time I was 11, so needless to say I am a BIG daddy’s girl.

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Penny Chenery

Favorite food: Anything spicy

Favorite animal other than a horse: Dog

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Any NFL game

Favorite musician/band: I’m a country music lover – Jason Aldean is my favorite.

Favorite TV show: ‘Duck Dynasty’! I’m addicted, Jack.

Websites I visit daily: equibase.com, horseracingnation.com and, of course, all my social networking sites - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Favorite movie about horse racing: I’ve seen Secretariat about eight times. I love Penny Chenery. I read about her when I was in high school and love all things Penny.

What I like about my job: I love people and I love a challenge. I love trying to look at a race and think of things that could play a factor in the outcome of your selection.

Favorite tech gadget: DVR, so I can watch every episode of ‘Duck Dynasty’.

Twitter handle: @IndyDownsRachel

People I follow on Twitter: Anyone that follows me!

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Gary Tasich, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Gary: "Joyful Victory feeling her oats at Santa Anita with Larry Jones." Want in? E-mail a .jpg with a brief caption to photos@ntra.com.

Photos of the week

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