O’Connell Looking For Lucky 13th In Florida Sire Stakes Series - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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O’Connell Looking For Lucky 13th In Florida Sire Stakes Series

Kathleen O'Connell long ago established herself as one of South Florida's most respected and successful trainers while distinguishing herself as one of the most accomplished female Thoroughbred conditioners of all-time.

The Detroit native is scheduled to saddle Stonehedge LLC's This Run's for You and Malcoms On the Run for Saturday's $100,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes Series at Gulfstream Park in search of her 13th career victory in the lucrative series for 2-year-olds sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida. She will do so as the second-winningest female trainers in North American history. With 2,350 winners [thru Wednesday], O'Connell is just 28 trips to the winner's circle shy of Midwest trainer Kim Hammond's record and has been steadily closing in.

O'Connell, whose $45 million in purses-won is more than double the total of the all-time win leader, is a multiple-graded stakes-winning trainer. Her six graded-stakes winners include Stormy Embrace, the back-to-back winner of the Princess Rooney (G2) in 2018-2019, and Blazing Sword, who captured two legs of the 1996 Florida Sire Stakes series before going on to capture three graded stakes and more than $1.1 million. She also developed and trained Lady Shipman, who collected six stakes wins before falling just a neck short in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland.

Although O'Connell's resume includes across-the-board successes, she clearly derives the most satisfaction while working with young horses.

“I love the babies. Some trainers are claiming trainers, and I never have been. I've always loved the babies. Even before I came on the racetrack, I used to break horses,” O'Connell said. “That's always been my fondness.”

O'Connell's Florida Sire Stakes successes include a sweep of the filly division in 2013 by Scandalous Act, an Act of Duty filly bred and owned by the late Gil Campbell of Stonehedge Farm.

“To see them develop and come around has always been my biggest satisfaction,” O'Connell said.

This Run's for You has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 10 juveniles in the Dr. Fager, a six-furlong dash that will co-headline Saturday's card with the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies. The gelded son of Khozan obviously was a fast learner for O'Connell, looking to his dazzling July 23 debut. The Stonehedge homebred produced an 11-length front-running victory while running six-furlongs in 1:10.52.

“The timing is unfortunate, but he came out of the race good and is doing good,” O'Connell said of the two-week turnaround.

Malcoms On the Run enters the Dr. Fager as a 15-1 maiden with three troubled in-the-money finishes,

“He's my Budweiser longshot,” O'Connell said, a reference to a segment from ESPN horse racing telecasts in the 1990s.

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