Charlsie Cantey To Be Honored At Horse Racing Women's Summit - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Charlsie Cantey To Be Honored At Horse Racing Women’s Summit

Charlsie Cantey

Pioneering horse racing television commentator Charlsie Cantey will be honored with the Jane Goldstein Exemplary Leadership Award at the second annual Horse Racing Women's Summit, Sept. 27-29, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

A native of North Carolina, Cantey started her career with race horses in New York after graduating from George Washington University in 1968. She worked with trainers Elliott Burch, Frank Whiteley Jr., David Whiteley, and Sidney Watters, as well as Joe Cantey after their 1969 marriage.

She was persuaded by Frank Wright and Dave Johnson, co-hosts of the WOR-TV weekly racing show in New York, to join them in 1975.  Two years later she made her network debut on CBS for the Travers Stakes, alongside Wright and Jack Whitaker. During nine years with CBS she originated interviews from horseback.

When ABC was contracted for Triple Crown coverage in 1986, Cantey was part of the talent team that included Jim McKay, Al Michaels, Whitaker, and Johnson. In 2001 the contract went to NBC, where she worked with Tom Hammond and others for the Triple Crown, as well as the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Cantey brought unique insight about horses to the telecasts, and despite ongoing nervousness about her live appearances she offered poise and professionalism that brought her immediate acceptance.

“I never thought of myself as a pioneer,” Cantey told Jay Hovdey in a 2020 Bloodhorse interview. “I never stopped to think that I was a woman trying to work in a man's world, because I came out of the backstretch. The people I was interviewing in the afternoon were people I worked alongside in the morning…And I have to say I never faced any discrimination.”

Cantey's past honors include being part of some two dozen Eclipse Award-winning telecasts, selection to the National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, the Jim McKay Award for broadcasting excellence by National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and Pimlico's Old Hilltop Award at the Preakness Alibi Breakfast.

“I am honored, and beyond humbled, to receive the Jane Goldstein Leadership Award,” Cantey said. “To be recognized by Jane and the Horse Racing Women's Summit is a stunning surprise, and I am so grateful to be remembered by this important collective force committed to advancing all facets of our mutual lifelong passion, thoroughbred racing.”

She retired in 2005 and enjoys time with three grandsons.

The award is named for ground-breaking turf publicist Jane Goldstein, who was recognized for the inaugural presentation last year.

Tickets to HRWS 2023 are still available and can be purchased online. Visit www.womeninracingsummit.com for more information.

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