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Thursday, February 15, 2018 9:38 PM
  • General


FLORENCE, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2018) – A lifelong dream came true for retired Navy nurse Tina Chamberlin Thursday, Feb. 15, when Fairway Lane prevailed in the fourth race at Turfway Park to give the trainer her first career win.

Chamberlin, a 48-year-old grandmother, enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school. First assigned to work on airplanes, she answered yes when the Navy asked for volunteers to attend college to meet a need for nurses. She retired in 2014 with the rank of lieutenant commander after 26 years in the Navy, the last 10 as a nurse, having served in a variety of locations including Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan and Singapore.

Chamberlin learned to trail ride growing up in California but the racing bug bit as she watched the Kentucky Derby every year on television and dreamed of becoming a jockey. She literally outgrew that dream, but in high school she took her first steps as a trainer when she went to work for a woman who adopted mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management.

“I was the crash-test dummy,” Chamberlin said, as she recalled the lessons she learned gentling the mustangs to ride.

In 2003, while stationed in Oklahoma, Chamberlin swapped her riding skills for lessons from a Quarter Horse trainer, her first experience with training racehorses. When she left Oklahoma, she traveled from assignment to assignment with her own riding horse, now 23 years old, but had no further opportunity for training lessons.

“I subscribed to The Blood-Horse to keep up with the news, and I read a lot of books,” she said of the long wait to get back to her dream.

Chamberlin took out her trainer’s license in 2016 and earned her milestone win with her 18th starter. She also has one second and four thirds. She has two horses in training, both stabled at Turfway, and four that are learning their first lessons on her farm in Tennessee.

Chamberlin and her husband, Todd, have two adult children and three grandchildren.

To post the win, Fairway Lane dug deep to run down pacesetter Kiss My Note right before the wire, prevailing by a neck. The Langfuhr gelding finished the five furlong claiming test in :59.71 and paid $9.20, $3.20 and $2.40 as the 7-2 second choice.

Magdaleno Salazar, a 10 lb. apprentice, was aboard for the hard-fought win. The victory was just the fourth of Salazar’s nascent career and the second for winning owner Yvonne Miller.


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