Guest Blogging:

As you may or may not know, I’ve fallen in love with horse racing. While preparing for the Ms. Racing Queen pageant I learned SO MUCH about horse racing and discovered a sport I care about. While tweeting away during the weeks of the Ms. Racing Queen competition, I met a fella named Dan. Dan hosts a website,, and so graciously took the time out of his day for a quick phone interview.

DanonymousRacing is a FREE website for horse racing fans everywhere. Dan and his team are passionate about providing everything a new or former horse racing fan needs to know. The site has free picks for upcoming races, jockey journals and handicapping contests.

Dan offered an opportunity to write a post for his site as a guest blogger. No questions asked, I was super excited! Check it out: Guide to Hosting a Kentucky Derby, by Jenn Johnson . The topic, hosting a derby party, was chosen because the Kentucky Derby, the first weekend in May, usually falls near my birthday, May 4th. Attending the Kentucky Derby has always been on my bucket list. Since falling in love with horse racing, it’s moved up a few spots on the list. (In fact, the next time the derby falls on my birthday is in 2019, I will be attending. I am ready to reserve lodging!)

My friends were all so excited for the derby! Everyone asked questions and was so pumped for the race. Mint juleps, of course, were part of the picture. One of my friends, Will, was SO EXCITED California Chrome won he paced for a good 10 min after the racing cheering and chanting. (Of course, I was happy too. His reaction was priceless!) It was pretty awesome to get my circle of friends pumped for the race. They all wanted to know when the next big race was going to occur. 

Needless to say, we are all pumped for the Preakness Stakes. Another celebration shall occur and this time we are going to set a GoPro on the T.V. to capture the excitement.


Until Next Time,

Jenn L.



The 3rd Weekend of #MsRacingQueen

The 3rd weekend of Ms. Racing Queen was as fun as the first two. The Gulfstream Park contestants got a chance to test their betting skills, a special tour of the backside and another mini Q&A question in the walking ring.

Leading up to Saturday.

The attire for the day was derby wear! That meant two things… dresses & hats! My approach for the contest was to take each weekend as they come. Even though I knew derby was going to be the attire for week three, I didn’t buy a hat since I wasn’t sure if I’d be selected to return. I was pretty excited to shop for a hat but wanted to do so on a realistic budget. So, I went to TJ Maxx and picked up the first big sun hat I found. It happened to be PERFECT! It was colorful & it was my favorite designer, Kate Spade. A match made in heaven, I purchased the $40 hat! I already had the dress from over a year ago and it was purchased at Plato’s Closet, originally from Express.

Kate Spade hat (from TJ Maxx), Plato's Closet dress (from Express), Express belt (had in my closet) and Journey's shoes (not pictured)(had in my closet).

Kate Spade hat (from TJ Maxx), Plato’s Closet dress (from Express), Express belt (had in my closet) and Journey’s shoes (not pictured)(had in my closet).

My Experience.

The backside tour was for sure a highlight of my day. The Stronach Group has done a great job providing for the workers and making the facilities functional for both the horses and the workers. There are dorms on site that can compete with most college dorms, the barns are in great condition and the horses even drink filtered water!

Followed by the backside tour was another chance to test our betting skills. A lot of my bets won! Yay! It is such a fun feeling to cheer for your horse and collect the winnings. Even if it was a $2 bet, you could still win $20 or more! That is what I really like about horse racing, you can bet as little as $2 on a couple of horses, spend only $20 for the day, have a lot of fun and still make a great profit!

Another mini Q&A session took place in the walking ring. It was pretty quick, each contestant was asked one question before making the elimination from 20 girls to five. This was a pretty nerve wrecking part of the event. We had no idea the elimination was going to happen after the question!

Backside tour mini photo shoot with one of the horses!

Backside tour mini photo shoot with one of the horses!

What’s Next?

I did not make the final five selection. I was pretty bummed about it but looking back at all of the experiences and memories I’ve gained, it was well worth the adventure! Not to forget to mention, both James and I were able to benefit from our trip to Hallandale. While I was at Gulfstream, James was able to fly with this father and build his hours! A win-win for us!

Sometimes in life, you don’t get what you want, and that is just the way the cookie crumbles. I remember during my job hunt adventure, I wanted one particular position very badly. When I didn’t get it, I was so sad and disappointed. I felt defeated in the job market. Shortly there after, Upright Communications called. I am beyond glad they did! It is the perfect position and with the perfect dynamics I was seeking. Looking back, I am happy the other company rejected me. Upright Communications is where I belong!

As Johnnie Walker says, keep walking. “Your entire life, every routine, every risk, every moment, every step forward and every step back, had led you here. To the next step. & it has the power to change everything. It has lead you to the next step.” I only wonder, what the future has in store for me!

Thank you, Mr. Frank Stronach for a special glimpse of the horse racing industry.

Until next time,

Jenn L.

The 2nd Weekend of #MsRacingQueen

I am having a ton of fun at Gulfstream Park for the Ms. Racing Queen contest. This past Saturday was filled with a lot of great memories. From testing our betting skills to meeting key players of the organization, it was entertaining! If you haven’t attend a horse race, add one on your bucket list, you’ll have a great time & I am confident you’ll be back.

Cigar - Gulfstream

Cigar – ‘Horse of the World’ at Gulfstream Park.

Leading Up to Saturday.

It is important that Ms. Racing Queen can talk the talk and walk the walk. Studying up on the industry and understanding the industry is critical. The directors and staff of The Stronach Group provided the contestants with literature to learn more about the sport. Each contestant was given homework, to recognize a lady in the horse racing industry who inspires you & who has made strides in the industry. (The winner will be recognized on the day of the final pageant & a donation will be made in her name.) I chose Julie Krone for her winning attitude and ‘can do’ personalty. Not to forget to mention the first female jockey to win the Triple Crown, first female inducted into the National Museum of Racing and hall of Fame.

My Experience.

The t-shirt was very comfortable and it looked great with skinny jeans and nude heels, a classy look. We got to meet a chaplain, photographer, trainer and few jockey’s! They each took the time to tell us their story, all so inspiring. Before branching off for fan interactions, each contestant got to place bets with a betting voucher!

A highlight of my day was testing my betting skills.This was a lot of fun! Based off of the literature they gave us and my research, I made my bets. It my first time walking up the counter and placing my bets. This made the day even more exciting because throughout the day, I was eager to watch the races & see if my horse won. It kept me on my toes all day! I even asked a fella for the results of Race 4.

My bets for the day!

Putting the  betting skills to the test!

The fan interaction was another highlight of my day. I didn’t want to approach anyone while a race was going on, so I walked down by the rail, took out my phone, and recorded the horses running up to the finish line. I felt so much energy! Everyone started to chant louder and louder, until the horses reached the finish line. I couldn’t help but to smile! 


To view the video on my Instagram, click this image.

Another mini Q&A session took place in the walking ring / paddock area. Each contestant introduced herself and was asked questions on the topics of Ms. Racing Queen and the horse racing. It was another opportunity to meet the judges and speak in front of the horse racing public.

The day wrapped up in the Winner’s Circle, a great way to finish the day! We were up close and personal for Race 8. It was at that moment that heard the sound of thunder the horses make when they run by. We took many photos in the Winner’s Circle & had a really great time.

In the Winner's Circle at Gulfstream Park.

In the Winner’s Circle at Gulfstream Park.

What’s Next?

Well, I have been selected as one of the top 20 semi finalist. So very excited! This upcoming weekend is Derby wear, yay! I have been taking the time to study and network. The directors are encouraging social media promotion among the contestants, so I have been on the channels tweeting and hashtaging away. I was even able to connect with a journalist from Americas Best Racing from twitter. Dan, so graciously took the time out of his day to chat with me about horse racing! He has a lot of savvy ideas to promote to the target market!

Tweeting Convo's :)t1

This weekend means another elimination. From the top 20 to the top 5 in each state. I’m a bit nervous, ok I am more than a ‘bit’ nervous. However, I am working hard and focusing on the important details. Nervous are totally normal =D. I truly feel I can do the job and be the candidate they are seeking.

Thank you to The Stronach Group for this amazing adventure. My time thus far has already been life changing.

Until next time,

Jenn L.

Continue to follow my journey with the hashtag #JJ4MRQ

To view the top 20 contestants of Gulfstream / Florida: click here

To view the top 20 contestants of Santa Anita / California: click here

PS: I have to give a shout out to my awesome boyfriend, James, such a great supporter of my adventure.

The 1st Weekend of #MsRacingQueen

In my last post, News to Share, I shared that I entered the Ms. Racing Queen contest. The contest was kicked off this past weekend at Gulfstream Park in Florida and Santa Anita in California. Since Gulfstream Park is located in Hallandale, Fla., which is about four hours from my house, I have enter the Florida division.

 Leading up to Saturday!

Outfit planning is definitely something that I do. It makes me feel organized & prepared for the occasion. Not to forget to mention, I feel confident the day of the event. Of course, I outfit planned leading up to the Ms. Racing Queen contest. The attire of the afternoon was ‘resort wear.’ An outfit you would wear while visiting a nice hotel or destination. One of my favorite looks!

I thought it would be a lot of fun to pick out my top three outfit choices and ask my friends on social media for their fashion advice. I must say, I received an encouraging amount of responses. Both my girl friends and my boy friends commented on which outfit I should wear. After much consideration, I chose the floral print, other wise known as choice two. The floral print dress is a ‘fit and flare’ style dress and allowed for more ‘breathing’ room.

Social Media Advice Post Outfit Pick Post

My Experience.

My time at Gulfstream Park for the first weekend of the Ms. Racing Queen pageant was everything and more than I could have imagined. The day was a lot of fun and even started off with a toast from the directors wishing us all best of luck for the contest. You can’t help but to notice that the property is in tip-top shape & is absolutely beautiful (The grass is so green!!!). Everyone that I was able to meet was super friendly and truly passionate about their job & the horse racing industry. I can’t speak for the other contestants but they truly made me feel like a special guest.

We got an opportunity to meet key players of Gulfstream Park such as Ron Nicoletti & Christina Bossinakis. It was pretty awesome meeting Ron & Christina in person. To get better acquainted with horse racing jargon, I listened to handicapper reviews of Ron & Christina. Without a doubt, they are personalities of Gulfstream Park.We also got a tour of the jockey quarters where I met Javier Castellano, a very prestigious jockey. The contestants and I spent quality time in the paddock / walking ring and got a personal view of the parade of horses.  There was a mini Q&A session between Tatiana, the current Ms. Racing Queen & each contestant in the paddock. This was an opportunity for the judges to get to know us and for the contestants to get a feel of what it is like to speak publicly in front of the horse racing community.

What Next?

I made the second cut, top 50! This weekend will be another weekend at Gulfstream Park! The photo below is of the top 50 girls and I. It is going to be another special weekend & I am ready for it! Minimal outfit planning needed for this weekend as they have provided us with a cute shirt! 😉

This weekend we will be introduced to more areas of the horse racing industry! More tours, meet and greets, and eye-catching scenery. There will be another round of elimination’s this upcoming weekend, from 50 girls to 20 girls. I have taken the time to prepare, I have a great support team and I have a positive mind to carry me through the weekend. Here we go!

Top 50

You can continue to follow my journey simply by searching #JJ4MRQ on social media or Google!

Until next time,

Jenn L.

News to Share!

I’ve got exciting news to share….I have decided to enter the Ms Racing Queen (MRQ) contest! What does that mean, exactly? The organization, The Stronach Group, which is hosting the MRQ contest has a very active role in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. It just so happens that The Stronach Group is looking for a representative to promote the thoroughbred horse racing industry, otherwise known as the Sport of Kings, on a national level.

….& It gets better

Based off of research, the role of MRQ has a lot of open space in the public relations & online marketing industries, two industries I absolutely love. Sure, the MRQ contest is a ‘beauty pageant’ but they are not looking for the traditional pageant girl. Yes, I do have pageant experience (remember the blogs Glossophobia? Not Me! & Strawberry Queen Pageant? ) but that is not where I am getting the urge to enter the contest. From what I gathered, they are looking for a representative to help brand the MRQ organization and The Stronach Group by being active in the thoroughbred racing industry, a task I know I can do! The thoroughbred racing industry is something that has always captured my interest and I have become familiar with it :). [Fun Fact: Going to the Kentucky Derby has always been on my bucket list.]

The Details.

The MRQ contest begins on March 1st at Gulfstream Race Park, every Saturday in March. March 2nd at Santa Anita Park (another property owned by The Stronach Group) in Calif., another group of ladies are competing for the title. Every weekend, in each state, a group of gals will be eliminated. On March 22nd, the top five in each state will compete for the title of Ms Racing Queen.

Follow My Journey!

You can follow my journey and cheer me on by visiting the hashtag, #JJ4MRQ (#MsRacingQueen or #MsRacingQueen2014) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & WordPress. I will be posting throughout the events =D!


Super excited and cannot wait until March 1st!

Until Next Time,

Jenn L.

*Updated on 2/21/2014 @ 9:50 p.m.