Record-Setting Trainer Kathleen O’Connell Honored At Gulfstream - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Record-Setting Trainer Kathleen O’Connell Honored At Gulfstream

Surrounded by stable employees, friends, fellow trainers, and track employees, North America’s leading female trainer Kathleen O’Connell, who is based in Florida, is honored in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle

Trainer Kathleen O'Connell was honored by the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and 1/ST Racing Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park.

O'Connell, who has been a force among Florida trainers since the mid-1980s, recently became the winningest female trainer in Thoroughbred history.

O'Connell, who saddled her first winner at Detroit Race Course in 1981, surpassed Midwest trainer Kim Hammond when she notched win No. 2386 March 12 at Tampa Bay Downs.

In Gulfstream's winner's circle ceremony, the widely respected O'Connell was surrounded by her stable team, fellow South Florida trainers, friends, and track employees.

“That's because I've been around here for a long time,” O'Connell quipped. “The camaraderie of the backside is a good place and I've enjoyed the ride.”.

She has saddled winners at 23 different tracks, 332 of them at Gulfstream.

“When you think about how many years it has taken, it's a lifetime, a lifetime achievement,” O'Connell said. “I think what I like the most about my team, my help and my owners is that they're in it for the longevity, and they have been in it for the longevity.

Kathleen O'Connell's career hasn't only been about numbers. It has been about quality, as well.

She saddled Blazing Sword for multiple graded stakes victories, including the 1997 Calder Derby (G3), the 2000 Widener Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream and the Washington Park Handicap (G2) at Arlington Park, during a career in which the Gil Campbell homebred earned more than $1 million. O'Connell also achieved graded-stakes success with Campbell's Ivanavinalot, who captured the 2003 Bonnie Miss (G2) at Gulfstream.

O'Connell also trained exceptional turf sprinter Lady Shipman during her 3-year-old campaign in 2015 that included six stakes victories and culminated with a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), in which she was defeated by Mongolian Saturday by a neck at Keeneland.

She sent out Stormy Embrace for back-to-back victories in the Princess Rooney (G2) on the 2018 and 2019 Summit of Speed programs at Gulfstream. O'Connell also trained graded stakes winners Well Defined, Watch Me Go and Fly By Phil.

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