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Emerald Downs names new director of marketing

Sophia Mangalee, a lifelong horse enthusiast, looks forward to her new role as Emerald Downs
Sophia Mangalee, a lifelong horse enthusiast, looks forward to her new role as Emerald Downs' new director of marketing.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Sophia Mangalee has been hired as Emerald Downs' new director of marketing.

A native of Peshastin, Wash., Mangalee begin her new duties in early May, once she completes her job as marketing manager at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

A lifelong horse enthusiast, Mangalee is a 2006 graduate of the Racetrack Industry Program at the University of Arizona. She has spent the last six years at Monmouth Park, including the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Championships, and she also was a marketing intern at Emerald Downs in 2005.

By her own count, Mangalee has visited 35 racetracks in six different countries, but said Emerald Downs is a special place. For one thing, it's the first racetrack she ever attended live, recalling a 1996 visit as a wide-eyed youngster and dragging her parents to the rail for a closer look at the horses and jockeys. And coming to Emerald Downs, of course, will allow Mangalee an opportunity to come home.

"This is my dream job, " she said. "Emerald Downs has some of the best people working here and some of the best fans in racing. I can't wait to get started."

Emerald Downs President Ron Crockette was impressed with Mangalee, and believes her skills will suit the track nicely.

"Sophia Mangalee is a very talented and creative young lady," Crockett said. "Marketing is a key component for Emerald Downs, and Sophia will bring us some great ideas and lots of passion."

Mangalee, who began riding horses at age 5, is exceptionally talented on horseback. In 2011 she was one of only 13 riders to finish the renowned Mongol Derby, which at 1,000 kilometers (630 miles) is considered the world's toughest horse race.

During the nine-day ordeal across the Mongolian Steppe, Mangalee rode 27 different "semi-wild" horses.

"It goes across the wide open plains, just like Genghis Khan," Mangalee said of the Mongol Derby. "In nine days, I crossed two paved roads. It was an amazing adventure."

Mangalee is married to jockey Navin Mangalee, who is busy preparing for the upcoming Monmouth Park meeting. A native of Trinidad, Navin Mangalee notched 61 victories while riding at Emerald Downs from 2004-06.

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