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
You can follow Robertino at:
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
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
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
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
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
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.