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All-Female Drivers Race Kicks Off International Women’s Day at Woodbine Mohawk Park

News and Results > Top Racing Headlines > 2022 General > All-Female Drivers Race Kicks Off International Women’s Day at Woodbine Mohawk Park

All-Female Drivers Race Kicks Off International Women’s Day at Woodbine Mohawk Park

March 8, 2022
(Image Clive Cohen / New Image Media. Drivers L-R: Samara Johnson, Natasha Day, Pam Forgie, Jesse Turenne, Marie Claude Auger, Maggie Jones, Anita Ouellette, Marielle Enberg, and Kayla Chappell)

Woodbine Mohawk Park celebrated International Women’s Day last night with an all-female drivers’ race, and Natasha Day piloted Mach My Kiss to victory in the contest, an $18,000 overnight for older pacing mares.
Elm Grove Mistress charged to the lead off the gate under urging from Anita Ouellette, but Day had Mach My Kiss in the pocket at the turn, and in front at the quarter.
“Driving against all these girls before, they like to charge early,” said Day. “I saw Anita going across, and I know the one of Anita’s pulls, and I knew at some point it would come back to me, so I just wanted to get around and re-take, and I was able to control the rest of the race from there.”

Day won the inaugural Ontario Women’s Driving Championship presented by OLG last summer at Hanover Raceway and Dresden Raceway and believes women need more opportunities to showcase their skills in the race bike.
“It would be lovely to see even more girls come from all over Canada if they can keep this going every year, or even do a few more every year,” said Day. “It’s a start, and we can get some of these trainers to realize you know what, they can do it, we can mix it with the boys.”

The 2021 Women’s Driving Championship was a two-day contest and featured several of the same drivers from Monday night’s event.
“We were really impressed with Hanover’s initiative, and we wanted to participate in some way,” said Jessica Buckley, Senior Vice President of Racing at Woodbine Entertainment Group. “Megan Walker, our Senior Manager of Race Operations had the idea to do it in celebration of International Women’s Day, and our race office did a great job putting this race together.”
The night showcased female drivers, but Day and Buckley were quick to note that there is strong female representation in the harness racing industry.
“There are a huge number of women involved in harness racing, but it’s been slow as a sport to take women’s abilities seriously as drivers on the racetrack,” said Buckley. “What we saw tonight shows that they have the physicality, the knowledge and expertise to drive at this level and we need to do more to give them the opportunity to be out there as drivers.”
They will get that opportunity this summer as the Women’s Driving Championship returns to Ontario, in an expanded fashion.
Full details on the 2022 Women’s Driving Championships will be available later this spring, but Hanover Raceway General Manager Steve Fitzsimmons is looking forward to spotlighting the top female drivers for a second year.
“We are very happy to continue hosting the Women’s Driving Championship and providing more women with a platform to display their driving prowess,” said Fitzsimmons.
In addition to the all-female drivers’ race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday night, the track announcer for the evening was former Woodbine announcer and analyst Dawn Lupul. Monique Vág and Kelly Spencer served as the leads of the simulcast coverage.

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