FTHA, 1/ST RACING To Honor North America's All-Time Leading Female Trainer Kathleen O'Connell At Gulfstream - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

FTHA, 1/ST RACING To Honor North America’s All-Time Leading Female Trainer Kathleen O’Connell At Gulfstream

Kathleen O’Connell

The Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and 1/ST RACING will honor North America's all-time leading female trainer, Kathleen O'Connell, with a ceremony and trophy presentation in the winner's circle following the sixth race at Gulfstream Park Saturday, March 18. All owners and trainers are welcome to participate in the ceremony.

O'Connell broke the North American record for wins by a female trainer when My Eagle Soars captured the fifth race at Tampa on Sunday, March 12, marking the Michigan native's 2,386th victory. She surpassed Kim Hammond with that win.

O'Connell, who has about 60 horses between Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream, began training on her own in 1981. Her 17,315 starters through Saturday also account for 2,280 seconds and 2,154 thirds and $46,740,925 in purse earnings.

She has won nine graded stakes, three from 1997-2000 with Blazing Sword, a product of the late Gilbert G. Campbell's breeding and racing operation that became synonymous with O'Connell. Among her other graded victories were the 2011 Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, with Watch Me Go; the 2003 Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes, with Ivanavinalot; the 2019 Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes with Well Defined; and back-to-back runnings of the Grade 2 Princess Rooney in 2018 and 2019 with Stormy Embrace.

Hammond, who competes mainly in the Midwest, is still actively training but has yet to have a winner from 16 starters this year. Since launching her training career in 1980, her 15,706 starters have posted 2,178 seconds and 2,009 thirds and bankrolled $21,458,057 in purse earnings.

New York trainer Linda Rice follows Hammond and O'Connell on the all-time list, with 2,266 victories through Saturday.

Gai Waterhouse of Australia is acknowledged as the world's No. 1 all-time female trainer in victories with more than 7,000, according to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

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