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MARCH 18, 2024

TORONTO, March 18, 2024 – In this week’s edition of MMQP, trainer Michelle Love looks back on her career-best 2023 campaign and looks ahead to the 2024 racing season.

Starting Gate

  • 22 per cent win rate in 2023
  • Recorded first stakes win of her career when Foolish Games took last year’s running of the Thunder Bay
  • Set personal-best marks across the board in 2023, including wins, top-three finishes, and purse earnings
  • Top horses included Foolish Games, Dissectoligist, Reload’s Rebel, Chasing Trouble, and Walter Me Lad
  • First win came on May 20, 2013, at Woodbine, when Love Hammer eked out a nose victory at 12-1 in a six-furlong main track race
Foolish Games and jockey Omar Moreno winning the Thunder Bay Stakes on July 30, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)
Foolish Games and jockey Omar Moreno winning the Thunder Bay Stakes on July 30, 2023 at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo)

Opening Quarter

“I had a lot of very nice 2-year-olds from the year before that I hadn’t started, so we felt that we could have a good 2023. When it comes to Reload 2-year-olds, you generally have to be patient with them, but it paid off.”

Half Mile

“All of our horses tried every time, which is all you can really ask for. I was very happy with our year.”

“Definitely winning the Thunder Bay was the big highlight. But even in the Rondeau Bay at Fort Erie, Foolish Games ran a huge race. I have never screamed so loud in my life. We got beat a nose, but she ran huge. It was her first time on the dirt, so you don’t know what will happen with how she will handle the surfaces, the shipping, all of that. Wait until you see her this year – she’s big and healthy, and she looks beautiful. I am so excited.”

“We watch the replay of the Thunder Bay all the time. It gives you goosebumps. It is such a great group of owners, and it was the first stakes win for all of them, as well as it being mine. It was huge for us.”

Stretch Drive

“Confidence is one thing that I learned about myself last year. I also depend on my help a lot. I am so fortunate to have such great grooms and hotwalkers. Omar [jockey, Moreno] and I gallop all the horses, so it is a great team environment. Everything just came together for our barn last year.” ​

“When you look back, it does put a smile on your face. It also pushes you to set the bar higher. Obviously, a lot has to happen for everything to go according to plan, but it was a year that we are proud of.”

Finish Line

“I have nine 2-year-olds, so it could be a turning point year for us. I don’t push my 2-year-olds – as soon as they have an issue, we just turn them out. As soon as they need time, we give them time.”

“We have five older horses, which makes for a nice mix. I have two Souper Speedy babies that could be early. They are training already, and they are pretty forward.”

“I like all of our 2-year-olds. We have two of them training at Woodbine, and the others are training at our farm. I like them all. You can’t win races without good horses. Hopefully, they continue their development and the ones from last year come back and do well too.”

Michelle Love
Michelle Love

Winner’s Circle

Links to stories with Michelle Love:

PONIES 24/7 PODCAST WITH MICHELLE LOVE

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

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