Making a living in horse racing is not for the faint of heart.  It involves long hours and the emotional makeup to cope with adversity and fickle fate.  Yet children raised close to the sport often choose to pursue some aspect of racing as an occupation.

Well-known names come to mind when one thinks of men who are training racehorses, as did their fathers before them—Bob Baffert, Norm Casse, Todd Pletcher, and Dale Romans, to name a few.  But what struck me while watching a lot of racing on TV during the ongoing pandemic is the number of current female trainers and television commentators in horse racing who hail from racing families.

While I am sure I’ll leave someone out, following is a sampling of women active in horse racing with generational ties to the sport:

Christina Blacker, daughter of retired jockey Frank Olivares.

Caton Bredar, daughter of trainer Raymond Metzler and granddaughter of HOF jockey Ted Atkinson.

Donna Brothers, daughter of Patti Barton, the first female jockey to win 1,000 races.

Cherie DeVaux, daughter of trotter/pacer trainer Adrian DeVaux and sister of harness driver Jimmy DeVaux.

Britney Eurton, daughter of trainer Peter Eurton.

Gabby and Lacey Gaudet, daughters of trainers Linda and Eddie Gaudet.

Linda Rice, daughter of Clyde Rice.  (Clyde was a boyhood friend of HOF trainer D. Wayne Lukas.)

Maggie Wolfendale, daughter of trainer Howard Wolfendale.

Christina Blacker, Donna Brothers, Gabby Gaudet, and Maggie Wolfendale are married to trainers and Cherie DeVaux is married to a bloodstock agent.

Without exception, putting these women in front of fans as race analysts and commentators, or as trainers, is a huge benefit to improving the public’s image and understanding of horse racing.  Their family backgrounds make them very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sport and they are poised and articulate when on-air as commentators or doing interviews as trainers.

The trailblazer for women in American horse racing was Mary Hirsch McLennan, daughter of HOF trainer Max Hirsch and sister of HOF trainer William “Buddy” Hirsch.  Mary Hirsch was the first woman in the United States to obtain a trainers’ license from the Jockey Club, the first woman to be the trainer of record for a horse entered at Saratoga, the first woman trainer in the Kentucky Derby, and the only woman to train a winner of the Travers. 

Copyright © 2020 Horse Racing Business


  1. Thank you for writing this. All these women and others deserve accolades.