Mikaela Del Giudice – trainer / owner / marketing manager for Blue Chip Farms

by Victoria Howard

While attending high school in Minnesota, Mikaela Del Guidice took a job at the DeLong Stable.

Working and learning the ‘ins and outs’ of harness racing from top horsemen Jay and John DeLong, was something completely new to the young girl.

Until then, Del Guidice had showed Arabians and although she had been around horses since she was little, racing was something out of her comfort zone.

Del Guidice was born in Scandia, MN, a city about 10 minutes from Running Aces Casino and Racetrack, which opened in 2008.

“I’m a first generation in the sport; although my grandpa used to jump over the fence at Saratoga Raceway when he was a kid to watch the horses’ race,” Del Guidice said with a laugh. “I guess you could say horses and racing are in my blood.

“Running Aces only races in the summer months so working in the barn during the summer was a great job for a high school kid.”

In 2012, the summer after Del Guidice graduated from high school, she got a job with horseman Rick Magee.

“I took online classes from Oregon State University and received my bachelor’s degree,” Del Guidice said. “I opted to pursue my education online for that gave me the freedom and opportunity to travel, racehorses and still get my degree.

“I remember riding shotgun on the way to race at Maywood Raceway while finishing an organic chem exam or writing a paper on statistical analysis and I’ve been involved in the sport full-time ever since.”

And that’s an understatement, for Del Guidice does it all.

Typically, Del Giudice spends her winters at The Meadows Racetrack in Washington, PA, involved in everything that has to do with horses and the sport.

“I train, groom and own racehorses,” she said. “I also have a marketing business and do all the marketing for Blue Chip Farms. I love being in all different capacities of harness racing.”

Last year while at the horse sale in Harrisburg, Del Guidice took on another venture: she purchased her first colt named Verified Blue Chip.

“Verified Blue Chip is my first baby,” Del Guidice said. “So far, the colt is doing everything right. But you know that anything can happen along this exciting, but unpredictable journey.”

Del Guidice recalled what her most exciting time in the sport was.

“That’s an easy one,” she said. “It was when my horse Margin Call swooped the field, charging from last to first in the open trot at Running Aces. The race announcer, Darin Gagne, knew how much I loved my horse and made the race so exciting. I never get emotional about winning races, but there were definitely tears shed in the winner’s circle that day.”

“Another exciting memory was last year when I got my first training win with my horse Zanetti. It was my very first training start. What a thrill.”

As far as her favorite horse, Del Giudice had an answer without hesitation.

“It is definitely my open trotter Margin Call,” she said. “This is a whole story in itself. I got him as a yearling and I promised him he would be with me forever. He was the most difficult horse to get to trot [and keep on the trot] but he was stupidly talented and the most beautiful horse you’ve ever seen.

“One day while in the pasture he somehow broke his leg in five places. The vets said he would never walk again, let [alone] be a racehorse and told me he had to be put down. I’m not one to see a horse suffer, but deep down inside I just knew he would beat the odds. These days Margin Call is enjoying his life galloping in the field and is “King of the Pasture.”

Del Giudice has raced at Running Aces, the Minnesota and Wisconsin Fair Circuit, Maywood, Hawthorne, The Meadows and Pocono Downs.

Del Giudice is an up-and-coming harness racing hopeful and something the sport desperately needs. She is dedicated, hardworking, ambitious and a total horse lover.

“I’ve sent a lot of horses that were no longer able to race to New Vocations and, in a more unofficial capacity, I’ve helped many horsemen place retiring horses to local, loving homes,” Del Giudice said. “Having connections in the surrounding horse community really helps. One person, in particular, is a well-known radio personality here in Minnesota, who actually adopted two former Running Aces’ racehorses that he and his family adore.”

What are Del Giudice’s hopes and aspirations?

“I’d like to continue training on a smaller level and am looking forward to my 2-year-old’s future; but my main focus is marketing and Blue Chip Farms. They have been extremely good to me, and I believe in going where you’re most valued.”