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ABRV - EVENTS/TRAVEL

America’s Best Racing’s brand ambassadors kick off their bus tour this week with a trip to the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

The America’s Best Racing Tour, known as the ABRV, begins with a festival that has become a showcase for original music, independent films, and emerging technologies, and it attracts a national audience with more than 20,000 registrants over a 10-day period.

ABRV SXSW SCHEDULE 

Thursday, March 14th – 1:00 to 5:30 - “Saddle Up” Party

  • Playing in Traffic Record Label, Whole Foods, and America’s Best Racing Sponsored Party
  • The Whole Foods Rooftop Plaza in downtown Austin, TX
  • Live bands from Playing in Traffic Records will play from 1:00 to 6:00
  • Bands include:
    • Speak Dame
    • The Dunwells
    • Sahara Smith
    • Amy Cook

Thursday, March 14th – 5:00 to 9:00 – SXSW Auditorium Shores Concert Series

  • America’s Best Racing sponsored stage
  • Auditorium Shores line up:
    5:00 pm          Jovanotti
    6:00 pm          Bajofondo
    7:00 pm          Molotov
    8:00 pm          Cafe Tacvba

Friday, March 15th – 6:00 to 9:00 – SXSW Auditorium Shores Concert Series

  • America’s Best Racing sponsored stage
  • Auditorium Shores line up:
    6:00 pm          Divine Fits
    7:00 pm          Jim James
    8:00 pm          The Flaming Lips

Saturday, March 16th – 11:00 to 9:00 – SXSW Auditorium Shores Concert Series

The six brand ambassadors - Jose Contreras, John Cox, Mary Frances Dale, Victoria Garafalo, Hallie Hardy and Chip McGaughey - are recent college grads recruited to travel around the country, promoting increased interest in the lifestyle and competition of Thoroughbred racing’s premier events.

After the SXSW Festival, the ABRV will hit the Triple Crown trail with stops in Miami, Lexington, Louisville, Baltimore, New York, and other cities.

2013 ABRV TOUR

South by Southwest

Austin, Texas

March 14-16

Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park

Hallandale, Fla.

March 27-30

Baltimore, Md.

April 3-6

Toyota Bluegrass Stakes

Keeneland

Lexington, Ky.

April 10-13

Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs

Louisville, Ky.

May 1-4

Preakness Stakes

Pimlico

Baltimore, Md.

May 15-18

Belmont Stakes

Belmont Park

Elmont, N.Y.

June 5-8

ESPY Awards

Los Angeles, Calif.

July 10

Del Mar Opening Day

Del Mar

San Diego, Calif.

July 17-20

Haskell Stakes

Monmouth Park

Monmouth, N.J.

July 24-27

Whitney Invitational

Saratoga

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

July 31-August 3

Saratoga Special

Saratoga

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

August 7-10

Arlington Million

Arlington

Chicago, Ill.

August 14-17

Pacific Classic

Del Mar

San Diego, Calif.

August 21-25

MTV Music Awards

Los Angeles, Calif.

September 8

Awesome Again Stakes

Santa Anita Park

Arcadia, Calif.

September 25-28

Breeders’ Cup

Santa Anita Park

Arcadia, Calif.

October 26-November 3


*Dates/Events Subject to Change 

Second Side ABRV

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ABRVImage Head On

MEET THE ABRV BRAND AMBASSADORS

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Jose Contreras Story

Jose Contreras was first introduced to horse racing as a youngster when his father took him to Santa Anita Park and he's followed horses since. With no personal connections to the racetrack other than as a fan, he concentrated on the handicapping and wagering aspects of horse racing.

One of his biggest accomplishments as a handicapper was hitting a $65,904 pick six in 2006 at the age of 21.

Contreras has covered the Southern California Thoroughbred racing circuit for different websites and also on his blog where he covers stakes races as well as offering new fans tips on handicapping.

He has focused on introducing new fans to the race track and also helped out in Santa Anita's "Tweet In the Suite" event, where social media allowed fans to interact and meet trainers, jockeys, and media personnel.

Contreras aspires to help the racing industry grow through fan education, marketing, social media, reporting and handicapping. He studied at The University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program.

Check out Jose's introductory blog for ABR.

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John -Cox STory

Born and raised in Lexington, Ky., John Cox grew up attending the races at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Saratoga.

His family's company, Thorough-Graphics in Lexington, has been serving horsemen for more than 30 years.

Cox served as a marketing intern at Keeneland, an assistant staff writer for Brisnet.com, Tote-board operator for Fasig-Tipton Sales Co., and spent a summer working with yearlings at Lane's End Farm, in addition to marketing and sales responsibilities at Thorough-Graphics.

Cox is a University of Kentucky and Lexington Catholic High School alum, and also graduated from the Missouri Auction School in 2008.

In addition to horse racing, Cox also loves University of Kentucky sports, music and golf.

Check out John's introductory blog for ABR.

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Mary Frances Dale Story

Mary Frances Dale was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1989.  

She grew up in Columbia, Tenn., and graduated magna cum laude from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., with a double major in Art History and Classical Languages.

During her junior year abroad, Dale attended Lincoln College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.

In the summer of 2012, Dale was social media and marketing intern at Playing in Traffic Records in Austin, Texas. While at the label, her main goal was to heighten the online presence of the five bands represented by the label, including the Grammy-Award winning Los Lonely Boys. She also traveled around the country to various music festivals and venues promoting the British folk-rock band The Dunwells on their U.S. summer tour.

Growing up in the heart of Tennessee horse country, Dale has always had a passion for all things equine.

Check out Mary's introductory blog for ABR.

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Hallie -Hardy Story

Hallie Davis Hardy is a Kentucky girl, born and raised. 

Hardy grew up in Frankfort, Ky., and developed a passion for horses at an early age. She first began riding when she was six, showing Saddlebred horses. 

Keeneland Race Course was a favorite destination of her youth when she attended and learned to handicap races with her parents and grandmother each spring and fall. 

As Hardy grew older and college approached, she became more interested in the Thoroughbred industry and decided to pursue an education in the Equine program at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Once there, she began to work on Thoroughbred farms near Lexington to better understand the industry and potential equine careers. 

Hardy's experiences at Royal Pegasus, Three Chimneys and WinStar farms include farm management, bloodstock research, tours and marketing. 

Hardy graduated this December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science and Management with a minor in Agricultural Economics. Hardy has added to her college and life experiences by participating in key leadership roles in her Chi Omega sorority. She helped to raise significant sums for Make a Wish Foundation and participated in the school’s largest fundraiser, Dance Blue. 

A Type 1 diabetic, Hardy is also proud of her many years mentoring and fundraising for the American Diabetes Association. Thanks to her school, work and life experiences, Hardy is poised to share her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry and Thoroughbred racing to a broader audience.  

Check out Hallie's introductory blog for ABR.

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Victoria Garofalo Story

Hailing from "The Big Apple," New York, Victoria Garofalo was bred, born and raised in the Thoroughbred racing lifestyle, with most summers joyfully spent in Saratoga Springs.

She has previously been employed by The Walt Disney Co. as a cast member at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, a production assistant intern at LIVE! with Regis and Kelly and as a Disney College Program Campus Representative at her college.

Garofalo is the eldest of three girls, and her family’s lived motto and mantra is “Food, Fun, Friends and Family.” 

Her mission is to align her infectious enthusiasm, talent and passion for "The Greatest Game," by informing, encouraging and inspiring as many people as possible to experience firsthand the magic and enchantment that Thoroughbred racing offers coast to coast. 

Garofalo is a recent graduate from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication: Broadcasting and Public Relations and a minor in Management.

Check out Victoria's introductory blog for ABR.

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Chip -Mc Gaughey Story

Chip McGaughey has spent the greater part of his life living in Lexington, Ky.  

McGaughey is an alumnus of Lexington Catholic High School. In 2010 earned his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Kentucky.  

He has grown up surrounded by the sport of competitive thoroughbred horse racing and frequents racetracks as often as possible.  

Growing up McGaughey has learned about the sport from his family and is looking forward to using this knowledge to promote interest in horse racing to a new and younger fan base.  

He has a professional background working in marketing and sales.  

During his free time he enjoys playing golf, spending time with his family, running, exercising, attending University of Kentucky sporting events, and of course visiting the racetrack. He currently lives in Lexington, Ky.

Check out Chip's introductory blog for ABR.

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ABR Brand Ambassadors

As part of an ongoing commitment to new fan development, America’s Best Racing (ABR) in 2013 launched a national bus tour designed to increase interest in the lifestyle and competition of America’s high profile Thoroughbred races and big event days across the country.

Dubbed the “ABRV”, the 45-foot-long tour bus traveled around the country, beginning in March 2013, with six young, enthusiastic brand ambassadors. The ambassadors met with national and local media outlets and appear on college campuses, and in high-traffic areas and strategic locations within each destination city. The energetic group focused on attracting a younger audience to the sport of horse racing, specifically the big race day events in each city.

The project was renewed for 2014 and 2015 with the six ambassadors embedded in key markets in Miami (Vince Mathews), Chicago (Mike Johnson), New York (Victoria Garofalo, Dan Tordjman) and Los Angeles (Jose Contreras, Ciara Austin). The project serves as a key component to America's Best Racing's commitment to grow the sport of horse racing and build the next generation of racing fans.

Image Description

ABR Brand Ambassadors

As part of an ongoing commitment to new fan development, America’s Best Racing (ABR) in 2013 launched a national bus tour designed to increase interest in the lifestyle and competition of America’s high profile Thoroughbred races and big event days across the country.

Dubbed the “ABRV”, the 45-foot-long tour bus traveled around the country, beginning in March 2013, with six young, enthusiastic brand ambassadors. The ambassadors met with national and local media outlets and appear on college campuses, and in high-traffic areas and strategic locations within each destination city. The energetic group focused on attracting a younger audience to the sport of horse racing, specifically the big race day events in each city.

The project was renewed for 2014 and 2015 with the six ambassadors embedded in key markets in Miami (Vince Mathews), Chicago (Mike Johnson), New York (Victoria Garofalo, Dan Tordjman) and Los Angeles (Jose Contreras, Ciara Austin). The project serves as a key component to America's Best Racing's commitment to grow the sport of horse racing and build the next generation of racing fans.

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