Harmon Heads To Big M For International Women's Day

Lauren Harmon winning with Macho Martini at The Meadows

On Saturday, March 9, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment will host International Women's Day, sponsored by Clinton Tractor, an event geared toward the talented women in harness racing. Third-generation horsewoman Lauren Harmon will be one of two women who drive regularly at MGM Northfield Park, taking part in the event.

"This is an amazing event for women and women drivers, I'm excited to take part in such a great event," said Harmon.

Racing Secretary Scott Warren and Marketing Coordinator Jessica Otten put together the inaugural edition in 2022 when Warren had the idea for an all-female race.

"I thought it was a great idea. Last year, we had women travel worldwide to come and compete," said Otten. "I only expected to get one race, but we were overwhelmed in a good way, with enough drivers to fill two races."

Harmon currently works for theStable.ca operation at Northfield Park under trainers Jason McGinnis and Anthony MacDonald, where she assists with the stable's day-to-day operations. TheStable.ca currently has 82 horses stabled at MGM Northfield Park.

"She's the backbone of our stable and a heck of a worker," said MacDonald.

A native of Michigan, the 23-year-old Harmon kicked off her driving career at the Van Wert (OH) fair behind Static Camber, trained by her stepmom, Krista Harmon. While not a winning effort, it proved to be a key learning experience as the 18-year-old Harmon scored an impressive victory in only her second career start aboard Kandy King, trained by Kim Pluta.

"He [Kandy King] was a cool horse to drive. It was great to get to the winner's circle, but it was even more fun racing against and beating my dad," joked Harmon.

Since getting that maiden win, things have continued to be on the upward trend for Harmon, who earned one of her most significant career accolades in the Hall of Fame and Museum Amateur Trotting Series final at Delaware (OH), winning aboard Walkonthemoon. 

"Jug week that year [2022] was very special to me," said Harmon. "A few days prior, I had driven for the first time at Delaware and got a win from the eight-hole. It was such a career-defining moment."

While Harmon spends most of her time in theStable.ca barn, she also trains and owns Emerald Chip, a regular at the Home of the Flying Turns, who currently has 23 victories with $357,781 in the bank.

"He [Emerald Chip] is probably my favourite horse, but there are a lot of others that I like as much as him," said Harmon.

Harmon is one of 20 drivers and several from the Midwest that are participating in the International Women's Day festivities. The Meadowlands posted a few weeks ago that they were looking for women drivers and Harmon jumped at the opportunity. 

"I enjoyed driving at The Meadowlands in a few starts for my Uncle Rob; this seemed like a great opportunity to drive against some of the top female drivers in the sport."

Harmon will start from post five with the Michael Fiumenero trainee Noch Ten. The five-year-old son by Warrawee Needy has taken to The Meadowlands nicely since shipping over from Freehold two starts ago.

Asked what it would be like to win a race on one of harness racing's grandest stages, Harmon said, "I think I'd be on cloud nine for a while. Just about everyone dreams to make it out to the big stage once in their lifetime, let alone win a race there."

In addition to Harmon driving on the card, she will appear “In The Sulky” with Jessica Otten on the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m., when racing fans can learn more about the talented driver.

Post time on Saturday at The Meadowlands is 6:20 p.m. Harmon will compete in race seven.

(Northfield Park)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.