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Sorella On Jimmy And Jenni Freight

Published: January 19, 2020 3:52 pm ET

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Adriano Sorella recently sat down with Woodbine Entertainment’s Chad Rozema to discuss all things Jimmy Freight and the marketing efforts behind the new stallion. When the topic of Jimmy Freight’s younger full sister was introduced, Sorella somewhat looked like the cat that ate the canary.

Sorella and Rozema sat down for a 19-minute discussion during the Saturday, January 18 edition of Woodbine Racing Live. The duo discussed Jimmy Freight and the son of Sportswriter’s move to the breeding shed. The pair also discussed the marketing push that Sorella has orchestrated for the career winner of 21 races and $1.4 million in purses, including the recently announced Jimmy Freight Stakes.

During the interview, Rozema brought up the fact that Jimmy Freight has a younger full sister, Jenni Freight, who is owned by Iowa-based connections.

“I’m sure you’re aware of it, but next year there will be a two-year-old by the name of Jenni Freight that is a full sister to Jimmy Freight,” Rozema told Sorella. “Are you going to keep your ear to the ground and see how the filly is training down, perhaps? Are you already involved with this filly?

Sorella, who took a quick moment, answered by saying, “You probably will see her at Mohawk.”


Adriano Sorella (left), pictured while quickly discussing Jenni Freight with Chad Rozema (right).

Rozema mentioned Sorella’s marketing efforts behind getting Jimmy Freight’s stud career off the ground, and specifically cited the Tim Hortons and Dunkin Donuts cards that Jimmy Freight has been adorning as of late. Sorella was asked if some of the marketing initiatives for Jimmy Freight were thought of well in advance.

“Yes,” said Sorella, “and there is a bunch of other stuff still to come down the pipeline. I do this every day, this is what the company does: we promote other companies. Not so much just the Tim Hortons cards and things like that, but it’s more just promotion (generally). It just comes natural. We know what we’re going to do, so I just apply those things to him (Jimmy Freight). You don’t know if you’re going to get an extra breeding out of it, or an extra two breedings. I don’t go into it with that feeling that I’m going to get an extra five breedings, I go into it with the feeling that I’m trying to give back and I’m promoting the stallion at the same time.

“I want [Jimmy Freight’s] name to be out there – it’s a branding thing. Everybody knows McDonald’s, but you still see the signs all over the highway. And that’s what it is: branding is very important and it’s one of the things that many people don’t do. We just seem to brand when it comes close for breeding season or stallion season – we just seem to brand for those couple of months, but that’s everyone doing it at the same time. I feel like I need to approach it a different way, and that’s the way I want to do it, where we brand throughout the entire year, we promote the horse, and people don’t forget who Jimmy Freight is… I’m going to make sure he’s a rock star.”

When asked whether marketing was always in his blood or not, Sorella explained that it surely was.

“It was. I always did something,” Sorella explained. “I had my own handicapping website back in the day, and that was when I was doing plumbing. I remember the guys I used to work with from the sheet metal companies and such used to tell me all the time that ‘this is probably not for you, this whole plumbing thing because you’re always on the phone talking, advertising, handicapping and stuff like that.’ Just one day, I’ll never forget it, we were doing a brand new old-age home out in Bowmanville, I put my tools in the trunk of my car and said ‘that’s it, I’m done,’ and that was it. I quit a job that was paying very well and it was months before I landed a job with an online advertising company that had moved from California to Toronto. I landed a job there and got a very good role there at the company after a few months. Five years later, I went off on my own, and that company actually contracts me now to sell all their advertising. They never replaced my position, and here we are.”

Rozema asked Sorella what the one thing is that he would like to see changed in the sport. Anyone who has been in racing long enough knows that is a very tough question to answer.

“That’s difficult,” explained Sorella. “We need a few things changed, but, coming from a marketing background, I believe we need a little more marketing and advertising. It’s difficult because every track and every state focuses on their own, and I think that is because money is a really big issue, but what [Woodbine Entertainment] is doing right now, I’m pretty excited about it. I see a lot of potential here. I know that they want to promote Woodbine and Mohawk, and they’re doing a very good job with it; and with them wanting to be self sustainable, I think it’s going to happen here. The handle is getting stronger, we’re getting people to the racetrack, and the purses look pretty good right now. I think that if we can channel a little bit more advertising and focus a little bit more on bringing people into Ontario racing… I think Ontario racing has got a good product. I think we should just channel it, look at the positives and see what we can do to market the product. There are a lot of ideas out there. The stuff I am doing is a very grassroot type of advertising, but it doesn’t mean you can’t bring people in by using the grassroot way of thinking. We haven’t really pushed the product for many, many years, so even if we go in grassroots and start small, we can still bring people to the racetrack. I’m confident of it. People like to spend money and like entertainment. If we can give it to them, they’ll come.”


Jimmy Freight, pictured victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Sorella also commented about one of the mares that he is breeding to Jimmy Freight, and she’s a competitor that followers of Woodbine Mohawk Park surely know.

“I’ve got a few, actually. One of the ones that I just got recently is one that Carmen Auciello had, Exhilarated. So they are both 2018 O’Brien winners – she was the older pacing mare and he was the three-year-old pacing colt – so we’re breeding the two of them over at Winbak.”


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