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I think she’s out there somewhere

The View

In the lead-up to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park last month, some in the media were making a pretty big deal about all the female trainers that were in with a big shot to win a Crown title this year. But that wasn’t news to me.

Personally, I’ve been a big believer in female trainers in our sport for many years, and I don’t really find their success to be any extra-newsworthy than that of their male counterparts at this point in time. Highly successful female trainers in Standardbred racing is commonplace in this day and age, and I’m at the point where I think that most women would almost find it insulting to say, “And the trainer is a woman too.” As if women were any less capable than men, when in many cases, in horse racing and beyond, they’re proving themselves more capable, if anything.

Nancy Johansson, Casie Coleman, Linda Toscano, Julie Miller, Chantal Mitchell, Jennifer Bongiorno, Anette Lorentzon, Paula Wellwood, and on and on. Really, is anyone out there actually surprised to see any of these ladies win big races at this point, when they’ve already won the North America Cup, the Metro Pace, the Meadowlands Pace, the Cane Pace, and the Maple Leaf Trot, just to name a few, in 2019 alone? If so, you should probably climb out from the rock that you’ve been living under for the past decade or so.

Howard Stern, The King of all Media, was recently named the recipient of an award, by a gay rights group, for the outstanding work he’s done, speaking out for equality for the LGBTQ community. Stern said that he was honoured, but basically went on to say that he was ashamed, that in 2019, there was even still the need for such an award. Bravo, Howard.

I feel somewhat similar in regard to making special mention about the success of our female trainers. It’s a given, to me, that women train Standardbreds every bit as well as men do.

So… what’s next?

I’ll tell you what I’m looking for, and that’s a top female Standardbred driver to emerge and become a star in North America. And I’m pretty sure she’s out there somewhere, just waiting for her chance.

Detractors might say that women aren’t strong enough to drive our horses, ten races a night, and be competitive with the men. Have you ever seen ex-UFC title holder Ronda Rousey perform? I don’t think you’d tell a woman like her something like that.

It’s true that in most sports women compete against each other, separately from the men. But we’re not most sports.

I wonder if any of the men out there reading this now, and laughing at me, would care to take on Serena Williams or Bianca Andreescu in a tennis match? No thanks? Thought so.

I’m not saying that it WILL happen, but I am saying that it could happen, and in my eyes, it should happen. And I think that it would be fantastic for our sport if it did.

So, to all of the ladies, young women, teenage girls, and even pre-teens, that might be out there reading this: don’t make me look bad here (just kidding). I might take some flack from some of my male driving friends out there for this one, but I can handle it. Some of them might say that many of you girls aren’t athletic enough to become a leading Standardbred driver in North America, but guess what? I’ve played hockey and golf, for many years, with a lot of these guys, and not all of them are that athletic either - trust me.

Dan Fisher
[email protected]

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