Michelle Lovell Still Celebrating First Stakes Win at Churchill Downs

(Trainer Michelle Lovell celebrates her first Stakes win at Churchill Downs / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Trainer Michelle Lovell remained jubilant Sunday morning at Churchill Downs following her first stakes victory beneath the Twin Spires Saturday with 35-1 longshot Change of Control in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Mamzelle Overnight Stakes.

“It was such a thrilling race and such a relief to finally get this filly on turf,” Lovell said. “We’ve tried and tried to get her to run on the grass but the rain kept washing off the races. She really proved herself Saturday and it was such a fun way to get our first stakes victory in our backyard at Churchill Downs.”

Lovell, a former jockey, has been based at Churchill Downs since 2011 and one of six female trainers stabled at Churchill Downs. The others are Chelsey Coady, Vickie Foley, Monnie Goetz, Genevieve Londono and Helen Pitts.

“In an industry dominated by males, it goes to show women are just as capable of doing the job,” Lovell said.

Lovell is a native of West Palm Beach, Fla. and became a jockey in 1988. Following an eight-year stint in the saddle, Lovell began training horses in 2003 in Texas and Louisiana before shifting her stable to Kentucky.

“I still get the luxury of riding everyday getting aboard my horse (stable pony) Elwood,” Lovell said. “I enjoyed my time riding races but I also love training and seeing horses develop.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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