Christina Olivares Blacker is a well-known on-air racing analyst for HRTV. She began her career there in 2004 as a weekend reporter and features producer before joining TVG as a full-time reporter in 2006, hosting the original program Lady Luck and anchoring coverage at Belmont Park and Monmouth Park. She has appeared on NBC Sports alongside Tom Hammond and Randy Moss for the Florida Derby. Olivares Blacker moved back to HRTV in late 2012 and currently resides near the network's home base at Santa Anita Park with husband and trainer Dan Blacker.
How do you prepare for a race?
I usually like to prepare the day of as opposed to the night before a show. I've always been this way…even in college I would study the morning of my exams. I can memorize a lot in a morning and repeat it verbatim that day. My studying process involves reading various racing websites such as Paulick Report to stay up to date on news. Then I handicap using the DRF. I also check the National Turf workout reports daily for information on California horses. And I'll use Brisnet to find interesting statistics to add to my commentary.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
When people allow one setback or incident to define their future. No excuses. If you're willing to work hard no matter what is thrown at you, you can achieve anything you want in life.
Favorite moment at the racetrack?
Zenyatta's win in the Breeders' Cup Classic. I was standing in the winner's circle and will never forget the scene behind me as she stormed home. I have never seen so many people cheer for one horse. It was the most overwhelming feeling of joy I've experienced in this game. As I looked around me I saw tears of joy on so many faces, it was really powerful.
What's the last thing you Googled?
“White noise sound machine for babies” My 6 week old daughter loves the sound of ocean waves. It's amazing how well she sleeps with the sound of waves crashing in the background. So far I've been using an app on my Iphone to play it for her but I need my phone back! I either needed to find a machine or move to Del Mar :)
If you could change one thing about racing, what would it be?
I think I'm with many others in wanting a commissioner for horse racing. If we could have one governing body that made uniform decisions in the best interest of the sport overall that would solve many of the other problems we face.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Trashy TV! I love The Bachelor and just about anything on Bravo or TLC.
If you were roasted, what would people give you a hard time about?
I seem to attract very awkward “fans”. For example, there is this old curmudgeon of a man that used to follow me around Hollywood Park singing “I love you little, I love you big, I love you like a little fat pig. Oink oink oink oink.” So bizarre!
What is the one gadget you couldn't live without?
Iphone. For the ocean waves alone!
What's the best advice you ever received?
Work hard. Both my parents have a very strong work ethic and that attitude and drive has always been expected of us kids. Show up early, leave late, and be prepared.
Who's your industry role model?
There are so many people I look up to. Donna Brothers has helped me a lot and given me some great advice. And I've learned a great deal in terms of handicapping from many of my coworkers – Jeff Siegel and Rich Perloff come to mind among others.
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