Marla Zanelli

August 14, 2023

Marla Zanelli received her first horse for Christmas when she was 10 years old. Upon moving to Southern California at 15, she discovered Santa Anita Racetrack. After graduating college Marla fulfilled her dream of learning to work with the thoroughbreds. She started from the ground up, as they say, and then learned to gallop horses with Bruce Headley. She became an Exercise Rider and Assistant Trainer which spanned 20 years. She worked for and learned from excellent horsemen and Hall of Fame Trainers. Monty Roberts, Willard Proctor, Bobby Frankel, D Wayne Lukas, Darrell Vienna, Lewis Cenicola to name a few. Upon discovering Del Mar, she chose to stay permanently and when the time came to retire from riding, she got into real estate in Del Mar. Along the way she decided to venture into pin-hooking and bought yearlings in Kentucky and sold them in the California Two- Year- Old In Training Sales, selling a couple of Graded Stakes winners and multiple winners from the small number of horses she sold. This past year she ventured into the breeding aspect and had her first foal by Gift Box! Marla’s passion for the sport and love of the animal propelled her into promoting the sport however she could. In the Plaza in Del Mar there is a bronze plaque commemorating the thoroughbreds who put Del Mar on the map. An article on Hot Rod Charlie written by Marla was published July 2023 in Ranch & Coast Magazine. She has also been published by Fine Media Group, writing informative articles on horse racing. Her photography of the horses is found with her articles. Her photography had also been accepted into the Photo Finish Exhibit in the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Saratoga. She could be found working in the John Shirreffs barn in the mornings during the Del Mar Race Meets along with selling real estate at Coldwell Banker Realty in Del Mar.

@jonathanstettin #2 Ettalusive ran big to finish 2nd in Gulf Stream 3rd 16-1

Rusty Williams @RWilliams1010 View testimonials