01/02/2010 12:00AM

O'Connell wins Tropical at Calder title


MIAMI - Kathleen O'Connell became the first female to win a training title at Calder on Saturday when she clinched the 2009-2010 Tropical at Calder crown.

O'Connell, 58, closed out the meet with 17 victories, two more than runner-up Steve Dwoskin. She ended the 47-day session in high style, with her final winner coming in Friday's Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby with Fly by Phil.

O'Connell, who began her training career nearly 30 years ago, has been a regular on the local circuit since 1985. She also regularly sends a string of horses to Tampa Bay Downs, where she captured her only previous title in 1998-99.

O'Connell has trained numerous stakes winners over the years, and her best horse was the millionaire Blazing Sword with whom she won two divisions of the 1996 Florida Stallion series, the 1997 Calder Derby, and the 2002 Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.