In a sport that often requires 24/7 dedication to reach the pinnacle, it's often a challenge for those who make their living in racing to squeeze in a personal life. Perhaps defying the odds, one couple found success, and each other, on the backstretch.
"He kind of pursued me a little bit, I think there was some Facebook flirting at first, I like to shame him a little bit about that," said Maggie Wolfendale, NYRA TV paddock analyst.
"No, it's true, it's true," said Tom Morley, trainer.
Theirs is a story of modern romance with a twist—it started five years ago on the backstretch.
"There was quite a lot of pursuit and quite a lot of rebuffing from her to start with but, no, she eventually gave in and I am a very, very lucky man," said Morley.
The lucky lad is a Brit who's in his fourth year of training thoroughbreds on his own.
"If you had asked my friends three years ago if Tom is going to be training in New York, they would have laughed you out of the shed row and called you insane," said Morley.
Wolfendale is the daughter of a veteran trainer who's become known to Saratoga racing fans over the past six years as the paddock analyst for NYRA-TV.
"It was always my dream or, I should say, my passion to come to work with horses and to get to still do that on a daily basis, I am living the life that I have always wanted," said Wolfendale.
The couple married last summer at Morley's childhood home. This fall, two will become three when Wolfendale is due to give birth to their first child.
"It better like horses, it should. I don't think it has any option," Wolfendale joked.
Their family is growing at a time of great success for each. Maggie's role on NYRA-TV is expanding with the launch of the new national show, "Saratoga Live."
"Saratoga is the premier meet in the United States and to be able to show that off every single day is just a real treat," said Wolfendale.
Her husband is midway through what's arguably the best year of his career, approaching $1 million in earnings and capturing opening week's Honorable Miss Handicap.
"It means everything to do it here, it really does. This is the toughest place in America to win a race, in my opinion," said Morley.
"I could not contain my excitement, that was just amazing," said Wolfendale.
In a sport that requires endless devotion and a little luck to get ahead, Wolfendale and Morley found each other—a longshot that keeps paying off.
"The passion that we have for the sport and for the horses, that is shared and that is kind of the lifeblood of what our relationship is and keeps it together," said Wolfendale.