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Katerina Vassilieva immigrated from Russia to Toronto, Canada at the age of seven. When her mother said she could no longer take figure skating lessons Katerina asked for horse back riding lessons and that led her to where she is today. She says she always loved horse when she was little. A holder of a bachelor of science from the University of Toronto and a master of science from McMaster University, she started working at the track as a hot-walker and groom while trying to make money for tuition. she says from there she was hooked on the excitement of the sport and that she could make money doing what she loved. She moved up to an exercise rider and then an assistant trainer and kept coming back for more until she became a full time trainer in 2011.
Derby Dreamers Racing Stable
Trainer Katerina Vassilieva demurs from identifying the owner of Big Bazinga, saying he wants to stay out of the limelight because of the nature of his job in the investment world. But she does say that Derby Dreamers stable dreams of going to the Derby. They attend the two year old sales at Keeneland every year to buy a 2-year-old colt with the Derby in mind. Big Bazinga is their best shot at the Derby yet. Big Bazinga is named after the TV show 'The Big Bang Theory,' whose character Sheldon Cooper ways "Bazinga" when he tells a joke. The name Bazinga was already taken so they added the Big.
Big Bazinga is by Bluegrass Cat, runner-up to Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
An earner of more than $1.7 million, Bluegrass Cat captured such major events as the Haskell Invitational and the Remsen, and he also took runner-up honors in the Belmont Stakes and Travers.
Bluegrass Cat, a son of Storm Cat out of a full sister to 2010 Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver, has sired Grade 2 scorers Kathmanblu and Teeth of the Dog; current Grade 3-winning sprinter Go Blue or Go Home; and 2011 Delta Jackpot victor Sabercat, 15th in the following year's Derby.
Big Bazinga is out of Darling Daughter, the third-place finisher in the 2006 Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream Park. She is also responsible for Holiday Mischief, who landed the 2013 Super Derby Prelude at Louisiana Downs.
Darling Daughter is by Maria's Mon, the champion two-year-old colt of 1995 and sire of two Kentucky Derby winners -- Monarchos (2001) and the aforementioned Super Saver. Other notable progeny include champion filly Wait a While and Grade 1-winning millionaire Awesome Maria.
Maria's Mon mares have produced Lady of Fifty, successful in the 2013 Clement Hirsch at Del Mar; ill-fated Chandelier heroine Secret Compass; and multiple Grade 2 veteran Caracortado.
Darling Daughter is herself a half-sister to current turf stakes scorer Deanaallen'skitten. This is the family of Group 2 heroine Nashmeel, the dam of Grade 1 turf star Light Jig.
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