News and Events
Born to Ride: Female Jockey Takes to the Track
It is hard to imagine a college student who would voluntarily rise at 4:30 a.m. every morning. But one recent Pepperdine graduate did just that.
Anne Sanguinetti (B ’04, SC) began taking weekly riding lessons with her mother when she was six years old. The two spent hours at the track and rode together every week until Sanguinetti moved away from their home in Silicon Valley, California, for college. Upon graduating from high school, Sanguinetti was good enough to ride for the University of Michigan’s equestrian team, and after transferring, for Pepperdine University.
Unfortunately, her horse sustained a back injury that forced it to be retired. Since Sanguinetti could neither afford another nor bear the thought of not being able to ride anymore, she decided to get her rider’s license and train horses. Determined to learn to gallop, she went to Hollywood Park and asked for help. Luckily, she was referred to Dennis Ward, a man known for helping people. After two weeks under his guidance, she earned her exercise rider’s license and began riding daily.
Her weekdays started at 4:30 a.m. She would ride until 10 a.m., then come back to campus for class at noon. Sanguinetti enjoyed working with the horses despite the exhausting hours. On May 2, the day after graduating with degrees in Spanish and economics, Sanguinetti rode her first race as a jockey. “After breaking my first horse out of the gate, I knew I wanted to do it forever. The feeling was incredible. I was hooked,” Sanguinetti recalls.
Her first win came in August 2004 at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, California. She had been training a number of horses every morning including Deja Brew, a strong horse that ran under his potential. After his owner had tried everything else, he approached Anne and said, “He likes you and rides well for you every morning. Would you like to run him?” She jumped at the opportunity. Coming down the backside of the track, Deja Brew and Sanguinetti were in last place, but then they made their move on the curve and won. Sanguinetti could not have been happier.
Sanguinetti continues to ride and has worked at a number of tracks including Portland Meadows, Portland; Sam Houston Race Park, Houston; Santa Anita Park, Arcadia; Suffolk Downs, Boston; and currently at Thistledown, Cleveland. “I will continue to ride as long and wherever I can,” she says. “The life of a jockey requires flexibility, hard work, and a grueling routine.” But she doesn’t mind; she was born to ride.
By Kym Dildine (B '04, SC)