In the third part of a weekly series that will run Sundays in the Spring Meet, we get to know jockeys and trainers in their life outside of the racetrack. Each week will feature a different jockey or trainer and today will feature trainer Michelle Lovell.
Lovell began her training career in 2003 following an eight-year stint as a jockey. A native of West Palm Beach, Fla., Lovell has been based at Churchill Downs for 11 years and is typically found training aboard her trusty stable pony Elwood.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
A: I’m really boring. I don’t know what to do on days off so typically if I get some down time I like to sit outside and catch up on all of my busy work that I didn’t get to do at the barn.
Q: What is your go-to order at Starbucks?
A: Almost always it’s a dark roast with the raw sugar.
Q: What is your karaoke song?
A: I’ve never sang karaoke. I like going but I’ve never gotten up to sing. If I had to pick a song it would probably be one from Biggie Smalls or Tupac.
Q: What is your favorite cocktail?
A: I love a good margarita on the rocks. Sometimes, when I’m worried about calories, I’ll just have a cold shot of Patron.
Q: Where is your favorite place to take a vacation?
A: Belize. I’ve been there many times and love it more and more each time.
Q: What’s your favorite order at the Louisville restaurant Vietnam Kitchen?
A: I always order K-11 or, since we go there so often, they named a dish after me called the “Michelle Rolls.”
Q: Who is one horse you wish you could’ve trained?
A: There are so many good horses that I’ve seen throughout my life. The first one that comes to mind would have to be Secretariat.
Q: What is the worst excuse a jockey gave you after a poor ride?
A: “My leg cramped up during the race.”
Q: If you had to give advice to someone who wants to become a trainer, what would it be?
A: You just have to have a lot of persistence, a good work ethic and patience. This job changes all of the time and you’re always learning new things. Keep an open mind and always work hard. I always tell people, “Somedays you’re the chicken and others you’re the feathers.”