Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Breaking the Boy’s Club

In her remarks at the September 30 Thoroughbred Club of America dinner honoring her, Penny Chenery acknowledged a predecessor:

“I knew Isabel Dodge Sloan,” Chenery said. “I was scared of her. I saw her at the racetrack all the time and I never saw her open her purse.”

The first woman to top the leading owners list by earnings — in 1934, the same year her colt Calvacade won the Kentucky Derby — Dodge Sloan was the subject of a Claire Novak story for Kentucky Confidential in 2011.

“Racing and breeding horses are to me many things,” she said when she was honored by the TCA in 1951. “They are my hobby, my business, my pleasure and almost my entire life.”

Dodge Sloan was the first female honoree of the TCA; Chenery is the third. That’s in 81 years — as Chenery said, “Come on, guys.”