JENA ANTONUCCI was initially introduced into the hunter, jumper and equitation disciplines as a child. She would later be exposed to the back-side of New York Thoroughbred racing by her grandparents, avid New York owners. Jena spent many of her formative years retraining and developing off-the-track Thoroughbreds for their second careers. This experience motivated her to learn what is required to more effectively achieve this goal. She moved to Ocala, FL in 2000 and began breaking and training under the D. Wayne Lukas program at Padua Stables. Eventually the competitive nature of the business, along with the balance, artistry, athleticism and speed required in developing a great Thoroughbred motivated Jena to open her own business, Bella Inizio Farm, where she initially cared for broodmares, foals, weanlings and yearlings. Her experience and instinctive eye, coupled with her passion for training, culminated in her being fully focused on pursuing her training ambitions. Developing a unique set of horsemanship principles, Jena continued evolving into a top-notch trainer, fully committed to breaking and developing young horses, allowing the horse, through use of their own language, to develop to their highest potential. Jena took out her public license in early 2010, confident in her talents and her proven success in a farm setting, she quickly earned her first win on March 7, 2010 at Tampa Bay Downs. Building off this success, Jena confidently jumped into the deep waters of New York Racing and hasn’t looked back since. Jena keeps an open door policy for owners as she continues to build a team and family environment which has been the foundation for this growth allowing her to maintain a string of horses in New York and Florida year-round. Jena joined the board of FL TRAC in November of 2016 and now serves as its Vice President. The organization has close to 180 retired Thoroughbreds with the focus on transitioning horses who were racing at Gulfstream to their next careers.
“When you put good vibes out into the world, you tend to get them coming back to you in spades. From her infectious smile and a work ethic that has no quit to an unparalleled level of horsemanship and attention to detail, that is the epitome of Jena Antonucci . She puts her heart and soul into everything she does, whether training winners on the track (including some nice showings at Saratoga this past meet) to helping so many horses make the successful transition from racing to the next phase of their athletic careers. The horses’ needs, whether her own or those she’s helping from afar, always come all else. Anyone who comes across Jena – horse or human – is better for it, and I consider myself lucky to be in that group.”
Jen Roytz – Executive Director, Retired Racehorse Project
“Jena Antonucci is one of the hardest working women in the racing industry; she lives and breathes horses. She is very passionate about horses, from training them to all of her work with aftercare (retired racehorses). She works tirelessly with her team of board members and farm staff (manager) to make sure these horses have a good future. FL TRAC as an organization is a credit to them. As a trainer, she loves each and every horse in her care and always wants the best for them. She is a great horsewoman and has a vast knowledge of them, from her years in the show jumping ring to galloping racehorses. Not only that, she is a very fair and honest person and would do anything she could to help people. She is loved by those closest to her – friends and family. Her barn family love her too as a boss and a person, even the four-legged ones. And I as her friend have so much love and respect for her as a horsewoman and person.”
Fiona Goodwin – Assistant to Jena Antonucci
“Jena is one of the hardest-working people I know, both as a successful trainer and in her extensive work with the FL TRAC retirement and aftercare program.”
Alice Clapham – Assistant trainer to Graham Motion/Herringswell Stables
“Little did we know when Jena began riding at 2 years old, it would bring her to where she is today. Knowing my daughter, every horse, human and critter is truly blessed to have Jena in their life. Love, Mom”
Terry Conforti – Jena’s proud Mom!
For more information on the Florida TRAC program, follow the link below: