Trainer Kathleen O'Connell notched career victory 2,000 at Delaware Park on Wednesday. The milestone win came in the sixth race when Charlie Runion's homebred Wishful Quality won her debut by a head in a $34,000 maiden event.
The 2-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Exclusive Quality was ridden by Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr. and returned $53.80 as the second longest shot in the field of six.
O'Connell posted her first career victory with Kim's Lucky Spot at Detroit Racecourse in 1981. Other notable horses conditioned by the Michigan native include Blazing Sword, winner of the Grade III Calder Derby in 1997 and the Grade II Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park in 2000; Watch Me Go, winner of the Tampa Bay Derby in 2011; Lady Shipman, second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland in 2015; and Stormy Embrace, winner of the Grade II Princess Rooney Stakes at Gulfstream Park on June 30 of this year.
“My motto is perseverance pays,” she told Gulfstream Park's Ed Gray in a recent profile. “To me, it really does. You have to keep going and going, because there are a lot of low points in this business and there are a lot of high points. It's the only business in the world where you leave at night and come back the next day and everything is different. They get sick. They get hurt. It's a very tough business. You've got to give it your best and persevere and always look to tomorrow.”
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