Page 10 - May 2019 Thoroughbred Highlight
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Trainer Ross Armata Jr. & Owner Brian Uniacke Win Opening Weekend at Woodbine
Starting off the 2019 season with two winners opening weekend meant so much to trainer Ross Armata Jr.. For him it was testament that the hard work and dedication he puts in to his public racing stable does pay off.
Ross may have been born into the industry but he has certainly earned his stay as he closes in on two decades as a trainer at Woodbine, one of North America’s most competitive racetracks.
The junior Ross is son to Ross Armata, a successful trainer who was a force to be reckoned with throughout the late 1990’s and the  rst half of the 2000’s. With stakes horses such as Barbeau Ruckus, Shot Gun Ela and Great Defender sharing the shed row of what was mainly a successful claiming stable, this was also the fertile learning grounds for Ross Jr.
Ross Armata Jr. was eight years old when he began walking hots for his father. He was grooming horses full-time during the summer months by the age of 12.
Ross felt that because of his age and being the son of the trainer of a big out t he constantly needed to prove to the older men at the barn that he could do the job and do it well.
Throughout his childhood Ross was a high level hockey player, eventually skating with the likes of Eric Lindros and Chris Draper. At the end of high school Ross was faced with the decision to play hockey professionally in Europe or work in the family business at the racetrack. The excitement of the racetrack and the lure of the horses won out.
Ross became his Dad’s Assistant for 5 years and working with horses in the claiming ranks provided the would be trainer with plenty of opportunity to  nd solutions and different training styles for horses that were far from being perfect.
“When you are young and working in a large out t you are exposed to a slew of injuries you may not necessarily see in a smaller barn.” said Ross, “You learn a lot very quickly.”
Ross Jr. of cially became a trainer himself in 2000 and in 2003 began training privately for his Uncle
Trainer Ross Armata Jr. with Goldtown
Vito’s former owner Molinaro Stable. Right out of the gate, Ross Armata Jr. won two for his new owner with Secret Rush and Storming On Merit winning opening weekend at Woodbine, March 22, 2013.
One of the top Molinaro horses Ross Jr. trained was Expected Song, a winner of 7 races with 3 seconds and 5 thirds in 23 starts and earnings of more than $350,000. She continued to win for Ross Jr. and new owner C.E.C. Farms in 2005 after Molinaro Stable dispersed at the end of 2004.
Ross has steadily progressed throughout his career and with an anticipated 16 horses in his public training stable this year he is as dedicated and hard working as he has always been.
“My hands touch every one of my horses everyday.” stated Ross with obvious pride, “I still do up all of my horses everyday.”
Ross Jr. will also come back to the barn each afternoon to feed and observe his horses, “I like to see my horses and their demeanour at feed time in the afternoon.” Ross states with this explanation,” When they are snorting and nickering for their food
Thoroughbred Highlight - Page 10 - May 2019

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