Jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse rides trotter to North American record at The Meadows

by Dan Leary, USTA director of marketing and communications

Washington, PA — Chantal Sutherland-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 on Monday afternoon (Sept. 23) at The Meadows Racetrack.

USTA/Mark Hall photo

Chantal Sutherland-Kruse rode trotter DW’s NY Yank to a North American record 1:59 mile.

The time trial set a record for trotting under saddle on a five-eighths-mile track, previously set 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. “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.

USTA/Dan Leary photo

Chantal Sutherland-Kruse aboard DW’s Yank, with trainer Ron Burke (right) and prompter Dave Palone (left) in the winner’s circle at the Meadows.

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-Nicky Mantle through fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:27.3 before coming home in :31.2 to set the new mark.

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

Ron Burke, the 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.

During each attempt, Sutherland-Kruse was equipped with an HD helmetcam, provided by EquiSight Inc., that captured a unique “jock’s-eye” view of the events. The video can be accessed at or

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