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The Kentucky Derby Could Have Its First Female-Trainer Winner This Weekend

Vicki Oliver will be just the 18th woman to saddle a horse in the legendary derby.

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Twenty thoroughbred horses will race this Saturday at the 147th Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. Among them is Hidden Stash, a contender that currently has 49-1 odds of winning the venerable Triple Crown competiton as of press time.

Why is such a long shot remarkable? Because Stash’s trainer, Vicki Oliver, will be just the 18th woman to saddle a horse in the Derby and the first since Carla Gaines trained 12th-place finisher Bolo in 2015.  And if Hidden Stash wins, Oliver will be the first female trainer behind the success of a Kentucky Derby winner. 

Related: What Is Your Company’s Kentucky Derby?

“I never dreamed we’d have one in here,” Oliver told WHAS11 of Hidden Stash’s entry in the race. “You weren’t really thinking about it at all until we actually got here.”

Though Oliver, whose father was a breeder and taught her about the horse business (she’s been training them herself since 1998), understands that the odds are stacked against her and her horse, she believes that Stash and jockey Rafael Bejarano will give the rest of the field a run for their money. 

“We’ve done the hard work,” Oliver told the Courier Journal in a separate interview. “You just keep the air in them and keep the fitness level up.”

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