O’Connell Seeks Win 1,800 at Tampa Today
By Jim Freer
Trainer Kathleen O’Connell heads into today’s Tampa Bay Downs races with 1,799 wins.
She will have two chances to make it 1,800—and keep building her record as one of the winningest all-time woman trainers in North American thoroughbred racing. Our research indicates she could be as high as second place
First post is 12:42 p.m. for Tampa Bay’s ten-race card.
Gulfstream Park has eight races today with first post of 12:55 p.m.
Conditions are listed as fast and firm at each track.
Gulfstream’s featured seventh race is a five-furlong allowance/optional claimer on turf for 3-year-olds and up. Five of the seven entrants have run in stakes at Gulfstream this year. Successful Native and Do the Roar are likely favorites.
O’Connell does not have any entrants at Gulfstream today. At Tampa Bay her two entrants are Teufles and Roses in the sixth race and Game Lad in the seventh.
Our research indicates that O’Connell is second among women trainers in career wins.
Data from Equibase Co. show that Kim Hammond has 2,082 victories through Tuesday, making her the all-time leader.
Christine Janks has 1,702 wins and our research indicates that puts her in third place.
We were unable to find a list of winningest women trainers. Equibase, whose data base is perhaps the most comprehensive in racing, does not have official records of wins by women trainers. That is partly due to gaps in record bases prior to the extensive research it began in the 1990s.
On Equibase, we found these career win numbers for these other women trainers: Patricia Farro 1,441; Linda Rice 1,434; Kathleen Demasi 1,173. Checking on about 20 trainers, we found no others with more than 1,000 wins.
Since the start of 2014 O’Connell has 228 wins and Hammond, who trains mostly in Indiana, has 86 wins. Janks, who trains mostly in Illinois and Florida, has just 29 wins during that period.
The recent numbers suggest that O’Connell could catch Hammond within several years.
O’Connell is third at the 2015-2016 Tampa Bay meet with 36 wins. Gerald Bennett leads with 50 wins, and Jamie Ness is next with 37.
O’Connell has led trainers in wins at two Tampa Bay meets and at one Calder meet.
Both O’Connell starters appear to have realistic shots to win today.
Teufles and Roses is 9-2 in the morning line for the sixth race, with an eight-horse field. It is a $32,000 maiden claimer at one mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies.
She finished fourth in a ten-horse field in her last start, at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Tampa on April 13.
Victor Lebron will ride Teufles and Roses. Antonio Gallardo rode her in her three previous starts, He is switching to Snow, a first-time starter trained by George Weaver.
Mini Channel, trained by Arnaud Delacour and ridden by Daniel Centeno, is the likely favorite.
Gallardo will ride Game Lad, at 5-2 in the morning line, in the seven-horse field in the seventh race, It is a $23,000 maiden special weight at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds.
- Barry Unterbrink contributed to this report