Megan Devine Moves Forward in New Santa Anita Role
Megan Devine Moves Forward in New Santa Anita Role by Reinier Macatangay: A quick glance through Megan Devine’s own website reveals a lot. Originally from Long Island, she traveled to Kentucky in order to attend the University of Louisville. At UofL, Megan became highly active in sorority groups, rode horses competitively (almost making the U.S. Equestrian Team), worked as a Cardinal Ambassador and even won the 2014 Miss University of Louisville title. She graduated from the school’s Equine Industry Program.
On a personal level, she has always been friendly since mutual friends introduced us last fall at Keeneland, so it made sense to feature her in a new article before she debuts as simulcast feed co-anchor at Santa Anita Park.
Devine answered questions relating to settling in a different environment, handicapping, fashion and more.
While she chose to leave behind the more quiet Kentucky for the greater Los Angeles area, the multi-talented personality loves her new workplace.
“If you’ve never been, you have to go! Santa Anita is beautiful! Sitting just outside of Los Angeles, under the San Gabriel Mountains, it’s the playground to the best horses in the business,” she explained. “I’m excited to be around celebrities of the two and four-legged variety!”
“As much as I love the fall season at Keeneland, I’m very excited for the weather and the sunshine in Los Angeles. The racing is a little different and I’ll need to get to know a new crowd of horsemen. But, I made so many incredible friends in New York and Kentucky, I’m looking forward to expanding my network and making new connections!”
The world of handicapping is a tough place, with a plethora of online analysts giving advice without any real ability to understand the nuances of why horses win and lose. Devine initially had help from a friend.
“A dear friend of mine, Kevin Saggese taught me how to handicap the races,” recalled Devine. “He knew me from the show horse world and realized I could pick a winner out of the paddock.”
“We spent many nights at Malone’s in Lexington pouring over the Daily Racing Form. He passed away this year, but I still remember his lessons every day. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some of the best in our business. I learned a lot of what I know from the experts at NBC and TVG.”
“I try to take a little bit away from each person I work with.”
Next, the question of “Who was your favorite person to interview?” came up. Her response may surprise people, as she chose a low-profile trainer (who will almost assuredly be a common name soon in racing).
“I love interviewing my friends,” she told. “When Liam Benson won at Keeneland with Expected Ruler, I could hardly formulate words well enough to interview him!”
“I was also pretty excited to interview Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel after his first ride back when he came out of retirement this year.”
Of course, no horse-related interview is complete without asking about a person’s favorite racehorse. Some active and retired names were given, none of which seemed too surprising.
“Favorite retired racehorses are Wise Dan and American Pharoah,” replied Devine. “Wise Dan because he was such a hard trying gelding and American Pharoah because of who he was and how closely I was able to work with him throughout his career.”
“As far as active racehorses, I really like California Chrome because he’s been able to endure so much and improve. And of course Songbird, because she may be the best moving horse I have ever seen.”
Those are all great horses.
Fans might not realize Megan Devine also contributes to Fashion at the Races, headed by our friend Bri Mott. The website promotes fashion at the racetrack as a way of creating a more enjoyable environment for everyone attending. Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup attendees are already thinking about their outfits.
Devine offered advice for women making the trip to Arcadia in the first weekend of November.
“Wear anything you’d like! I like to embrace the colors of the event or the season,” she suggested. “If I’m not wearing purple or yellow for Breeders’ Cup, I’ll go with autumn colors like bronze, rust or hunter green. I’m also really into textures like leather, suede or tweed, but you have to take the weather into account.”
“Wear something that makes you feel beautiful!”
No one will argue she is beautiful herself, and holds the knowledge and talent to move up in the industry. To see Megan in action, watch the Santa Anita simulcast now through early November, or visit the racetrack. She will gladly give advice to anyone about handicapping or just happily talk about horse racing in general.