In The Sulky With Tritton

Lauren Tritton at The Meadowlands
Published: March 7, 2023 07:00 pm EST

Despite rarely seeing women in the driver's seat for marquee race days in North American harness racing, it's certainly not for a lack of talent.

Multiple Australian stakes-winning driver Lauren Tritton was one of the stars of the The Meadowlands' International Women's Day celebrations this past Saturday that featured 19 women driving in a pair of races. Tritton was a guest on the track's pre-show "In The Sulky" segment before literally sitting in the sulky and winning one of the two races on the card designated for women drivers.

Tritton won one of the International Women's Day races with Irish-bred Harry Knows IR, an International Trot hopeful from her stable trained by her husband Shane. It was a big night for Team Tritton as the husband and wife duo then later watched their Borgata Pacing Series eligible Nandolo N score a sub-1:50 win in the Open off a pair of late-February scratches.

An established driver in her native Australia, Tritton discussed the launch of her driving career after she first jogged a Standardbred as a teenager back in 2008 during a holiday break from school and began to help out at local stables.

"It all bloomed from there and I didn't stop. I was thrilled by the adrenaline rush and I just never looked back," she explained, acknowleding Aussie trainers Josh and Terry Ball for providing her qualifying drives that allowed her to obtain her license. 

Among her achievements overseas, Tritton was the youngest driver in Australia to earn 500 wins.

"I had a really big season and I worked really hard," she said, reflecting on the gruelling grind it took to set the record. "Not many 17-year-olds were doing what I was doing but I chased it.

"I was doing two meetings a day -- day meetings and then night meetings. It was ridiculous. There was a couple times I was falling asleep at the wheel. Jumping on and off horses as they were going out and off the track. It was something I don't want to do again, but I achieved it and that was how I was rewarded."

Tritton became the first female to win the Open Premiership and counts her victory with Muscle Factory A in the Group 1 Victorian Derby, a 1-1/2-mile race for the country's best three-year-olds, as her career highlight.

"Women drivers have really taken a big stance back home and it's really good to see," said Tritton. "One of the biggest races in Australia, the Miracle Mile, was won by a female [Saturday] night, which is awesome to see."

The Trittons committed to a move to the U.S. in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, setting up their stable in Pine Bush, New York, where Shane's father, Peter, also bases his stable.

Tritton and her husband currently train a stable of 28 horses and she remains active in the sulky, driving 32 winners from 93 starts last year while posting a .468 UDRS.

Her advice for young women starting out in the sport: "We all can do it, it doesn't matter who you are -- male or female -- and don't let anyone tell you differently. If you want to do it, go and get it and enjoy every moment of it."

Tritton also discussed how distance, speed and driving strategy differs between Australia and U.S. racing, and shared how a venomous Redback spider bite prevented her from winning a third Premiership. Watch the full interview below.