Chantal Rides Trotter to North American Record

by | 09.23.2013 | 7:02pm

Chantal Sutherlund-Kruse, the Canadian Thoroughbred jockey who is the only female rider ever to win the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, added harness racing rider to her resume when she rode trotter DW's NY Yank to a North American record 1:59 mile clocking Monday afternoon (Sept. 23) at The Meadows Racetrack in southwest Pennsylvania.

The time-trial set a record trotting under saddle on a five-eighths-mile track, previously held by rider Karen Isbell and trotter Fort Valley As (1:59.1) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 29.

Sutherland –Kruse was amazed at the differences between riding a Thoroughbred and Standardbred. The biggest difference, she said, was how jockeys must “push” a Thoroughbred in order to get them to go faster, while Standardbred riders must hold the bit in the horse's mouth or they will begin to gallop, negating any record attempts.

“I just had to keep pulling,” said Sutherland-Kruse, 37. “Pull, pull, pull. Every time I let up on the reins he would break. I won't be able to wash my hair tonight.”

Sutherland-Kruse, 37, attired in fluorescent pink silks and a white helmet painted with orange flames, broke stride with DW's NY Yank in the first attempt just past the half-mile marker, timed in 1:01.

Sutherland-Kruse tried again 60 minutes later, this time behind the starting gate where the gelding broke stride shortly after the start before the quarter mile, which allowed for a restart.

She brought DW's NY Yank back on stride and gathered him up behind the starting gate again and this time guided the 4-year-old gelding by Dilbert Hanover through fractions of :28, :57-3/5 and 1:27-3/5 before coming home in :31-2/5 to set the new mark.

North America's all-time leading driver, Dave Palone, who finished the day one win short of 16,000, served as a prompter driving behind the jockey to help her break the record.

Ron Burke, perennial winningest trainer in North America, spent the last few weeks training DW's NY Yank to race under saddle in preparation for the record attempt.

“Chantal did an awesome job,” he said.

  • Tinky

    Can anyone question her brilliance (or my sincerity) after that performance?

    • Biggar

      I don’t have any world records. How many do you have?

      • Tinky


    • Greg Jones

      I suppose you could do better “Tinky’?

      • Tinky

        Yes I could – if only I could make the weight.

  • Knowitall

    Dude, at least she figured out that she had to hold onto the reins.

  • PWK

    Julie Krone did a much better job, but then, I guess that’s not surprising is it?

    • kyle

      Chantal is Chantal. She’s unique and talented in her own right. It’s not fair to compare her to Julie. NOBODY is Julie. Rosie is not Julie.

      • Knowitall

        But Rosie being just Rosie is more than enough. And it wouldn’t take her three tries as she would come prepared. But fortunately, we won’t see her moonlighting in gimmicky harness track promotions any time soon, either.

        • kyle

          True enough. Chantal is not Rosie. But comparing her to Rosie isn’t fair either. I wasn’t putting down Rosie in the least. She is one of only two female jockeys to transcend her gender. That being said, Julie before the horrific spill Spinaway Day 1993 was pretty much the equal of riders like Antley and Bailey. Rosie is solid, but she doesn’t give the indication that she’ll ever achieve that level.

          • Knowitall

            Julie thought Antley was the most naturally gifted rider she ever saw so that is saying quite a bit. Given that Rosie is 25 and Julie was 30 in ’93 and had been riding four years longer (12 years) than Rosie has (8), I’d say she is doing just fine.

          • kyle

            Antley was supremely talented. His is a sad, sad case. It ain’t easy being a jock. Most don’t get out whole. That’s at the heart of my impulse to defend Chantal. Even the mediocre ones have my admiration provided they don’t demonstrate a complete lack of ethics. As for Rosie, I will say she is smarter than the average bear and seems to have an equanimity many don’t – even Julie was a bit of a wild child early on. So, we’ll have to see about Rosie. Maybe she’ll be able to take things to a different level. To this point I don’t think she has shown she can compete against the best on a day in day out basis.

          • Knowitall

            It takes a good horse to compete with the best, and when well mounted I think she more than holds her own. Success begets success in this business for jocks. Good horses open the door and the ride continues. Can’t think of a ride on a top horse she has obviously blown, which is more than I can say for most of the top jocks. Agree about her temperament – it serves her well. The difference is this: a Jerry Bailey, John Velasquez, Gary Stevens, Mike Smith typically doesn’t get taken off when they screw up, and often pick up mounts based on their rep or long held relationship with a trainer when another jock (hello, Rosie and Bobby) has done nothing wrong. Do you really think Rosie would have been allowed to ride Palace Malice back if he bolted with her in Derby? I didn’t think you did;-)

          • 4Bellwether666

            That’s what you think…

          • kyle


      • nu-fan

        True. Chantal is Chantal. That should be enough for most but, for some reason, people seem to want to compare. And what they do not recognize is that their opinions are just that: their opinions, which are subjective. That’s all. Compare records? Not good enough. A lot depends on the horses that they are fortunate enough to ride. Statistics?” Always can be manipulated. But, thank you for sticking up for Chantal. She does a great job in public relations and publicity for a sport that is sliding downhill.

        • real fan

          she burned a lot of bridges. which is why she’s doing this ridiculous exhibition

          • nu-fan

            Again, your opinion. Burning bridges? Big deal. Bet there are plenty who can accuse a lot of people for “burning bridges”. But, she does bring positive attention to horseracing, which is far more than others do. And, that is my opinion. But, I don’t believe in spreading needless and negative opinions around for those things that are personal issues.

  • Has anyone ever raced a trotter or pacer at the gallop? If they can trot that fast, how fast can they run?

    • Mimi Hunter

      The three I’ve been around were good at running. The two who had been on a track weren’t near as fast as the third, who had bowed a tendon early on and never made the track. She was fast – and she was mine – she loved to race – they had a 220 yd race at the one horse show. The first race she didn’t know what to do. The second day she knew. She just stood there – the other 3 in that heat were spinning in circles, rearing, and generally acting-up – and still she just stood there – when the starter raised his hand to fire the pistol, she coiled up like a spring, and landed about 30 feet out when he fired it. We placed 2nd against 3 quarter horses at 220 yards! She was fast.

      • That’s very interesting. It only makes sense to me that they’d be fast. I think the ones that race are just so discouraged from galloping that they probably would need a lot of galloping practice.

  • Jon Smithers

    Was it Chantal that caused the early breaks…or Roger Huston’s voice?!?!

  • Tonto

    Gee I thought the horse did the record. How about Grayhound – I think he beat that time.

  • Greg Jones

    Congratulations to Chantal and DW’s NY Yank, well done!

  • cuphorse

    If she had used her stick some while steadying the horse, he would have gone even faster. She appears to be holding on for dear life. Not a good strategy for a world record attempt.

  • Funkymonkey

    I’m sort of tired ohearing about Chantal and her little achievements on the side all the time. She is a good rider not great. In order to stay in the spotlight she has to do all these things. It’s a nice thing and congrats to her but I’m over all this publicity and I know a lot of other people are too.
    AND BTW: Chantal is not in the same league as Rosie or Julie Krone.

  • Joe

    The real story here is who is her PR person to be able to keep her bad riding a** relevant. This is really an event??

  • jock

    I’m quite amazed I’d only learned of this event last night!! Neve had heard anything about it and don’t really understand the point of having the event with only one horse being raced against a clock! Maybe for exhibition to draw more people to gain track attendance to a failing racetrack might make sense, but I’d hope these ladies weren’t doing this for such a hype to gain bodies in the grandstand! If this exhibition were for helping to further wellness, and restore health to the many women sufferng/dying from Breast Cancer! Now that might be the only way I’d even want to support this evwnt. Charity, seems to be the logical reason any race against a clock that is not even comparable to any racing known or being practiced in the US. Kinda makes no sense to me to get excited about the speeds, with a lady atop for the trot! I as to provide funds for example “Susan Koman’s: Fight for a CureL Breast Cancer research which has lots of support already but needs further funding as all the various chaities across the country. Or hey how about doing some racing for the OTTB or STD horses that will have nowhere to go when their careers end, Why aren’t more people trying to raise awareness to the end of racings athletes that are the true stars of the entire racing industry? Are we so hungry to give credit to the pilots and forget what hppens to the majority of racehorses when they’re no longer useful as earners on the tracks? I’ve got no clue as to why this event is held or when it began or if only female jocks get to sit up top, or anything really. Where might I get the full story on this event? I’d like to learn more although quite hionestly,… I don’t find this racing on the back of a STD harness racer as any type of challenge for the ladies in the irons, other than keeping their mounts on gait, and since when does any race let a jockey get to have a do-over? Or in Chantal’s case here, more than one do-over? Also wanna know if all the ladies who’ve raced in this event prior to this one with Chantal had also had a horse and driver along to prompt the horses ridden to trot to their max ability as Chantal has next to her in the video here. And if not,…. Chantals performance as fastest along with the final time of the race should NOT stand as the record holder! That’s not fair if she were the only one with help alongside her, and if this is so,…. SHAME on YOU WOMAN!! After all you’d been in your country and in the US amd fans all over the world,….. you now reveal to the wh9le world you are just one more cheat in the game of horse racing,…. is that it? Yes, the sentiment is given as no more than an attempt at comic relief for an exhiition I’d not seen as particularly entertaining or of much value or challenge, as with all other horse racing events that are “Normal” and found this as disappointing,…depending on why the event is offered and who benefits from this monetarily! Sorry to say that if any of the ladies were offended by my being so blunt and honest in this public forum.

  • syrace

    No doubt Julie is a great rider, but Chantal is also. Congrats Chantal for all the hard work and devotion you have dedicated to this sport. AND FOR BEING A CLASS ACT!

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