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Blog - RACING

Karen Headley, Cicily Evans, and Kristine Leahy made history on Friday at Betfair Hollywood Park (Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo).

Friday’s card at Betfair Hollywood Park featured several breakthrough performances within a span of more than 30 minutes.

The second race on the card was called by local sports anchor and reporter Kristine Leahy, who became the first female to serve as race caller in the history of Hollywood Park. The 6 ½-furlong claiming race was won by Wrinkle Room, whose rider, apprentice Cecily Evans earned her first career victory as a professional jockey.

EVANS CELEBRATES WIN

Evans Inside

Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo

About 30 minutes later, trainer Karen Headley earned her first career win when Keep Movin’, a 5-year-old bay gelding, prevailed by a neck in the third race. Headley is the daughter of longtime Southern California trainer Bruce Headley, who trained 2000 champion sprinter Kona Gold as well as Grade 1 winners M One Rifle, Kalookan Queen, Street Boss, Got Koko, Bertrando, and Variety Road.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was in the second grade,” said Karen Headley, who has for years worked for her father. “I just figured why not now. I’ve got a few babies coming up, nothing spectacular.”

Evans moved from the East Coast to Southern California in the summer of 2012 with a plan in place to gallop horses for a while and then relocate back East to pursue riding professionally.

“I loved it so much out here I stayed. I’ve done nothing but learn here,” said Evans, a 27-year-old native of Milwaukee who previously had won a race restricted to amateurs. “I never even expected to start riding here and I’m so glad I did.”

Evans positioned Wrinkle Room in second behind pacesetter Rossi Reserve and urged her mount to the front at the eighth pole en route to victory.

“I really didn’t have to ask her that much,” Evans said. “I kept thinking, ‘Are they coming, are they coming?’ I expected to have to get into her a lot harder, but she just kept going nicely for me. This was just so great. I’m so happy to get a win here.”

EVANS GUIDES WRINKLE ROOM TO VICTORY

Evans Inside Race

Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

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