QandA with Trainer Robertino Diodoro

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Friday, April 9, 2021

One of the winningest trainers in horse racing is this week's The Player's Edge Podcast guest. Trainer Robertino Diodoro stops by to answer a few questions before hitting the airwaves. Along with some horse racing questions you'll learn how to pick the best claiming horses and Christmas trees.

You can follow Robertino at:

Twitter: @diodororacing19


HRR: Your grandpa was a horse trainer, and you took over his barn when there was just one horse left, what was the name of the horse and how did it run for you?

Robertino Diordoro (RD): MANCHU PRINCE was the name of the horse. He was probably my all-time favorite horse. He made enough for my down payment on a new truck.

HRR: What, shall we say old-school, training technique did you learn from your grandpa that you still use today?

RD: What you put into them is what you'll get out of them. We do a lot of icing, thermotech blanketing, spa treatments, etc.

HRR: You run horses at a bunch of tracks, how many horses does your barn currently have?

RD: Roughly 110

HRR: How often do you see the horses?

RD: At least once every three weeks.

HRR: How do you decide which track you are going to attend or are you at Oaklawn Park every race day?

RD: During the Oaklawn meet, I try to be there every day.

HRR: It was possible to have your first horse in a Kentucky Derby this year with Keepmeinmind. When that day does come how do you vision it and what do you think your emotions will be?

RD: Of course, it's every trainer's dream to run in the Kentucky Derby. It's why we do what we do.

HRR: While you won't have a derby horse this year, Ava's Grace will likely race in the Kentucky Oaks, how excited are you about that?

RD: It's always a great feeling. I am beyond excited.

HRR: When you first started at Northlands Park, you weren't training racing horses year-round. During the off season, you sold Christmas trees. Every year, I buy a fresh tree and am always disappointed by the fullness of the tree. What tips can you share so that I never make that mistake again?

RD: Always look for the freshest.

HRR: At one point, you were thinking about and training to possibly play professional hockey. You were a goalie. From time to time, boys will be boys and some fisticuffs can break out. Occasionally it can go full-out Royal Rumble and the goalies skate to center ice and get at it. Did you ever skate to center ice?

RD: Yes, I was in several hockey fights.

HRR: Right now, you are a hugely successful trainer, top 5 in wins since 2016. When your racing days are over, what's it going to take for you to say that you accomplished all of your goals?

RD: When training horses, your goals are never complete. I always strive to do better.

HRR: Every horseplayer I know, myself included, talks about buying or claiming a horse one day. Your barn claims its fair share of horses. If you were a claiming consultant, what advice would you give to clients? Would it be better to invest in a low-priced claimer by yourself to get experience or would it be better to get a group of friends together and pitch in to buy a more expensive horse?

RD: My advice on claiming would be to start off with partners.

HRR: What are some of the unexpected situations first time horse claimers should be aware of?

RD: They should know that there is never a guarantee that the horse will come back healthy enough to compete.

HRR: Are there any specific qualities in the horse a prospective claimer should look for?

RD: Always look for a horse that performs consistently.

HRR: Finally, as a native of Alberta, Canada, is the NHL your favorite non horse racing sport? Which team is your favorite?

RD: Yes, the NHL is my favorite sport. The Calgary Flames are my favorite team because I was born and raised there.