Breeders’ Cup Weekend: The Ladies And The Cup

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: October 24, 2007
“A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the path to victory.”
– Two-time Sovereign Award winner and Woodbine Race Course leading rider Emma – Jayne Wilson.

2007 Breeders Cup

PHILADELPHIA — It was another simulcast race from Woodbine; a six-furlong sprint.

(As the nine horses broke from the gate, one reared up slightly. After the horse was gathered in, jockey Emma — Jayne Wilson’s mount had given the field an eight or nine length jump.)
After some quick early fractions, Wilson’s got it together. Sitting on a lot of horse, Wilson is almost mid-pack as they come to the top of the stretch. Instead of forcing the action, she sits chilly as the early speed tires out.

(With four horses still to pass, a small hole opens up on the rail. She shoots through without hitting the rail or the horse, then, finally getting some daylight, comes off the rail for a clear run, splitting and sprinting past the final two horses with 70 yards to go.)
Spotting the field almost double-digit lengths, Emma — Jayne Wilson’s mount wins by two lengths.

That race seems to have been a microcosm of Wilson’s career to date. Ever since she exploded on the Canadian racing scene in 2005, this 26 year old from //<![CDATA[ u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Wilsonu003c/span>u003cspan> capped a sensational debut season on the circuit by winning both the u003cb>u003ci>Sovereign Awardu003c/i>u003c/b>u003cem>u003cspan>n andu003c/span>u003c/em> the u003cb>u003ci>Eclipse Awardu003c/i>u003c/b> as that year's outstanding apprentice jockey.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>The plucky brunette’s 175 wins in her rookie year remains a record for apprentice wins in Canada, and her overall record of 180 races won in 2005 gave her purses totaling $6.3 million and the meet’s riding title – the first female jockey to do so in Woodbine’s 50 year history.  u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>While not the first female to win a riding title, Wilson’s winning one right out the gate ain’t bad.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Racing in America has seen up-and-comers from the fair sex as well, all just as capable. In Florida, Rosemary Homeister Jr., an Eclipse award winner in 1992, won a racing title at u003cb>u003ci>Hialeah,u003c/i>u003c/b> and the only female to do so in that track’s storied history.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Zoe Cadman, based in the Midwest and born in South Africa, wins the 2001 meet title at u003cb>u003ci>Hawthorne Race Tracku003c/i>u003c/b> in Illinois.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Mary Doser still dominates the Michigan tracks as a multi – meet winner at u003cb>u003ci>Great Lakes Downs.u003c/i>u003c/b>u003c/span>u003c/div> n u003cdiv>u003cspan>Greta Kuntzweiler was u003cb>u003ci>Turfwayu003c/i>u003c/b>u003cb>u003ci> Parku003c/i>u003c/b> (Kentucky)’s riding champ in 2002. u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Lisa Platts (nee Dellapaoli) won the riding title at u003cb>u003ci>Atlantic City Race Course u003c/i>u003c/b>in 1997; and Cheryl White, the first African-American jockey (and first steward) was very successful in quarter horse racing at the northern California fairs in the 1970s.u003cspan>  u003c/span>u003cspan>  u003c/span>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Wilsonu003c/span>u003cspan>’s encore to 2005 was to win the Sovereign again in 2006, and she did; utilizing her never-say-die stretch style to get to the finish line first.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Wilsonu003c/span>”,1] ); //–> //]]> Brampton, Ontario native has had a rookie season unmatched by any jockey, anywhere.

Wilson capped a sensational debut season on the circuit by winning both the Sovereign Award and the Eclipse Award as that year’s outstanding apprentice jockey.

The plucky brunette’s 175 wins in her rookie year remains a record for apprentice wins in Canada, and her overall record of 180 races won in 2005 gave her purses totaling $6.3 million and the meet’s riding title — the first female jockey to do so in Woodbine’s 50 year history.

While not the first female to win a riding title, Wilson’s winning one right out the gate ain’t bad.

Racing in America has seen up-and-comers from the fair sex as well, all just as capable. In Florida, Rosemary Homeister Jr., an Eclipse award winner in 1992, won a racing title at Hialeah, and the only female to do so in that track’s storied history.

Zoe Cadman, based in the Midwest and born in South Africa, wins the 2001 meet title at Hawthorne Race Track in Illinois.

Mary Doser still dominates the Michigan tracks as a multi-meet winner at Great Lakes Downs.

Greta Kuntzweiler was Turfway Park (Kentucky)’s riding champ in 2002.
Lisa Platts (nee Dellapaoli) won the riding title at Atlantic City Race Course in 1997; and Cheryl White, the first African-American jockey (and first steward) was very successful in quarter horse racing at the northern California fairs in the 1970s.

Wilson’s encore to 2005 was to win the Sovereign again in 2006, and she did; utilizing her never-say-die stretch style to get to the finish line first.
Wilson’s keen sense of timing also allowed her to again achieve where no Canadian female jockey had done so before, winning the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, The Queen’s Plate aboard a 15-1 longshot named Mike Fox.

When asked about a potential Breeders’ Cup mount, Wilson was her ebullient self. “That would be awesome,” exclaimed the former equine management university student. “You always want to face the best, and the group here at Woodbine is very competitive and the meet here is very long.”

“After my success in the Queen’s Plate, I am hoping someday I will get a mount in a BC race.”

“You can look cute if you want — the fact is, if you don’t work hard and stay focused, opportunity can go right by you.”
– Woodbine jockey Chantal Sutherland
For the Winnipeg native, fame is okay — but winning is really cool. “Getting to a place of success in this business, especially at this early stage,” said Sutherland, who left the Canadian tracks to try her luck stateside. “I worked with Angel Cordero and Edgar Prado, and they were very helpful in teaching me more about race riding.”

Sutherland came back to Canada with a vengeance and is among the leading riders during the 2007 meet.

Out of the top 100 earning jockeys, only Wilson and Sutherland made the list, Wilson is 22nd with over $7 million in purse money to her credit, while Sutherland is 100th with $2.475 million.

For ladies riding and winning, Chantal says you get an unexpected bonus — respect. “It seems the idea of being female is a non-issue because you’re doing well. Sometimes when it’s not going well, you can run into problems because of the sexual dynamic.”

“When I’m around this (business) it’s about business. There’s a serious side to me, and it helps because then the trainers take you seriously.”

//<![CDATA[ u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Now that the fire has been relit, Chantal looks to make hay on the west coast. “I’m hoping to experience Santa Anita, and perhaps get some work out there as well.”u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>But the one place to make a mark for these talented ladies has already been made; by the greatest female jockey to grace an paddock.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>The dynamic Julie Krone remains the gold standard for riding excellence, courage and ability, regardless of gender. Over her illustrious career, she survived several serious injuries and politics to ride to 3,704 wins and over $90 million in purse earnings.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>She is the embodiment of “first” – first to win a Triple Crown race u003cb>u003ci>(onu003c/i>u003c/b> u003cb>u003ci>Colonial Affair)u003c/i>u003c/b> and a Breeders’ Cup u003cb>u003ci>(aboard Halfbridled).u003c/i>u003c/b>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>Quite naturally, she would become the first female jockey to be inducted into Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2000. u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>(Last but not least, we’ll try to handicap the 11 BC races and see if we can make some chicken salad with a pair of chicken lips.)u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:mingram@suavvmagazine.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>mingram@suavvmagazine.comu003c/a>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan>u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:michaelingram@blackathlete.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>michaelingram@blackathlete.comu003c/a>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> n u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/div> “,0] ); //–> //]]>

Now that the fire has been relit, Chantal looks to make hay on the west coast. “I’m hoping to experience Santa Anita, and perhaps get some work out there as well.”

But the one place to make a mark for these talented ladies has already been made; by the greatest female jockey to grace a paddock.
The dynamic Julie Krone remains the gold standard for riding excellence, courage and ability, regardless of gender. Over her illustrious career, she survived several serious injuries and politics to ride to 3,704 wins and over $90 million in purse earnings.

She is the embodiment of “first” — first to win a Triple Crown race (on Colonial Affair) and a Breeders’ Cup (aboard Halfbridled).
Quite naturally, she would become the first female jockey to be inducted into Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

NEXT: Last but not least, we’ll try to handicap the 11 BC races and see if we can make some chicken salad with a pair of chicken lips.