Antonacci Wins First Race as a Trainer


Philip Antonacci | Courtesy of Godolphin Flying Start

Godolphin Flying Start graduate Philip Antonacci won his first race as a trainer Saturday when Advanced Strategy (Karakontie {Jpn}) took an allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. Antonacci said he's only officially been training on his own since January, but grew up spending summers in the barn with his brother, Frank, a trainer for their family's prominent Standardbred operation.

“We're very excited about [the first win],” said Antonacci. “It was good for the whole team, a morale boost. We've only had four starters, so we've got a good percentage going right now. I have a good team.”

Antonacci drove professionally in the harness world for a short time and said he had seven or eight wins. “But I always had my eyes on training [Thoroughbreds].” He said in addition to graduating from the Flying Start program in 2019, he has worked for a number of trainers, including Wesley Ward in the U.S. and Gai Waterhouse in Australia. He's also been closely associated with Harness Racing Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter.

“Hopefully there's many more winners in our future,” said Antonacci. “We're at Payson Park right now, but headed at the end of the month to Monmouth. We've got 10 babies. Hopefully this will give us some momentum.”

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