Chelsey Coady Readies for First Churchill Downs Starter

May 10, 2019 Kevin Kerstein Kevin Kerstein,Churchill Downs Communications

Trainer Chelsey Coady rode her first pony, Ginger, before she could walk. Now, the 25-year-old Ocala, Fla.-native eyes her first starter as a trainer beneath the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs on Saturday.

“It’s been a pretty fun ride so far,” said Coady, the former assistant to trainer Buff Bradley. “We’re just getting things started and having a lot of fun along the way. That’s what it’s all about.”

Coady entered 5-year-old gelding Overcame in Race 5 Saturday – a $16,000 claiming event for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs. Overcame, a former $10,000 claim by Coady, is 9-2 on the morning line.

Coady has been around horses her entire life. After growing up in Ocala, Coady moved to Kentucky and worked for Bradley for seven years as an exercise rider and assistant trainer before leaving to train on her own in late 2018.

“I think the most challenging part about becoming a trainer is finding clients willing to give someone new a chance,” Coady said. “It just takes a little bit of luck and persistence but I think we’re on the right track.”

Coady is married to Churchill Downs track photographer Kurtis Coady and the two recently moved to a farm in Fisherville, Ky. about 30 minutes east of Louisville.

“Farm life is awesome,” Coady said. “About 18 years ago I actually traded for my first Thoroughbred, who is ironically enough named Cody. He is on the farm now and I get to still ride him on the trails near our house. I used to pony him at Churchill Downs for the longest time and now he is enjoying his retirement at our farm.”

Saturday will mark Coady’s sixth-career start. Her previous five came at Oaklawn and included two seconds and a third-place finish.

For more information about Coady’s racing stable, visit:

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