“Has Definitely Let It Land”: After History-Making 2023 Horse Racing Season, Popular Trainer Shares Candid Confession

Published 12/20/2023, 12:00 PM EST

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With breathtaking spectacles of sheer speed and visceral adrenaline, this year, 2023, has been phenomenal in horse racing. Magnanimous displays of success came from countless icons in the sport. We had Dettori marking his retirement in the UK circuit to up and coming G1 horses and whatnot. It was especially an exceptional year for one American thoroughbred horse trainer. Becoming the first woman to train an American Triple Crown race winner, she dropped jaws in 2023.

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It was an earth shattering performance this season with a whopping 107 starts and her horses winning 15 of these races. She earned a total of a whopping $2,096,936. And after making history, she has now opened up in a candid confession.

Horse racing maestro gets candid off the track

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According to Horse Racing Nation, Jena Antonucci opened up about the 2023 Belmont Stakes on June 10, 2023, and the champion horse, Arcangelo. Becoming the much-desired role model, she said, “Just seeing it through everyone else’s point of view has definitely let it land differently in my head. You don’t set out in life, ‘I’m going to do this because no one else has.’” If earning the prestigious Triple Crown wasn’t enough, Arcangelo later won the Travers, making Antonucci the second woman to achieve this after Mary Hirsch in 1938.

Arcangelo was still considered a top contender for the Eclipse Award, given to the best 3-year-old male horse in the country, despite withdrawing from the Breeders’ Cup Classic due to an injury. And following his retirement, on October 16, 2023, he began his career as a stud at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. So, what’s next in the offing for Jena Antonucci?

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The success and future plans of Jena Antonucci

Despite her immense success this year in becoming the first woman ever to train an American Triple Crown race winner, Jena Antonucci has remained humble. She emphasized the importance of staying true to herself and her small team of around 30 horses. And looking ahead to the 2024 season, Antonucci plans to stay realistic and not make big changes.

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She shared, “We have a couple of nice colts and fillies. We are going to let them tell their story” discussing the possible candidates ready for the upcoming Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks.

Champion Filly Bids Adieu to Horse Racing Scene Months After Successful 2023 Campaign

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With the 2024 season soon approaching and as she is currently wintering at Gulfstream Park, she hopes to have a presence in Kentucky and New York with her horses. As the new season will soon begin, horse racing fans await many more blitzing wins by the icon.

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Written by:

Christaline Meyers

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Hello there! I'm Christaline Meyers, a Olympics Sports Writer for Essentially Sports. As an ardent lover of the sporting world, I've found my home in the dazzling world of Gymnastics, where elegance meets athleticism in gravity-defying routines. But my passion doesn't stop there; I'm a sports enthusiast with a taste for the wild waves of surfing, the adrenaline rush of Alpine Skiing, and the street-smart moves of skateboarding.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar

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