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Sure Bet (2)

Tout sheets have more confidence
in Moss’ horses tonight than she does. Jockey Terry Thompson, who rides over 90 percent of her local mounts, is serving a suspension, and tonight’s substitute jockey is less familiar to Moss, who attributes her success to “surrounding myself with the best people — trainers and jockeys I trust.”

Still, her first horse leads in the home stretch. “Look out on the outside,” she yells — futilely and prophetically, it turns out. Her horse is overtaken on the outside and finishes second.

Moss is stoic. “I don’t get that excited now. Not like the first time,” she admits. “God, it would be nice to be able to get as excited as I did before I ever had a winner.”

Moss has led the owner board in winners at Prairie Meadows every year since 2005. Nationally her stable has accumulated over 1,600 victories — just since 1998.

Moss was the nation’s leading owner in 2006, the first woman ever in that exclusive club.

She’s earned the rank at least once at Oaklawn Park (Hot Springs), Belmont Park and Aqueduct (New York), Fair Grounds (New Orleans), and Churchill Downs (Louisville).

In 2007 Moss was among three nominees for the world’s top horse racing honor, the Eclipse Award. She lost to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Moss competes on a frugal budget against kings who have relatively unlimited resources to buy top bloodlines at the world’s priciest auctions.

A three-time National Equestrian champion as a rider, she represents everything that Iowans love in sports heroes.

She’s an underdog who consistently beats long odds; she’s a coach who inspires losers to glory; she’s an outsider breaking through glass ceilings.

She’s the queen of “the sport of kings.”

Wendie O’Brien, who grew up a friend and equestrian competitor, thinks Moss knows no other way. “Maggi was raised to win whatever she did, whether it be with horses or law.”

(Before Moss gave up her law practice to concentrate on horse racing, she was one of the state’s most formidable trial attorneys. Her work in Long v. Broadlawns changed the way alcoholics are treated in Iowa’s criminal system.)

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