Sutherland unexpectedly retires
Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who won her first career race on October 9, 2000, at Woodbine aboard Silver Bounty, announced her retirement on Sunday afternoon at the same track. Her final ride was a seventh-place finish aboard Crushin Hard in the Bunty Lawless Stakes, won by Pender Harbour. "I love Woodbine, I love riding here," Sutherland said. "It's nice that I could end it here, where it all started for me." The 36-year-old Sutherland, a Winnipeg native who got her start in Ontario, moved her tack from Woodbine to Santa Anita in 2011 but wanted to return to Canada for her final mount aboard a horse owned, in part, by her father Hugh Sutherland. Sutherland, calm and professional before the race, admitted afterward that it was difficult to be walking off the track as a jockey for the last time. "It's a very emotional experience," Sutherland said. "It's sad, but I feel good about the decision and the timing is right for me. I hope to be remembered as a very good jockey." Just prior to the running of the Bunty Lawless, Sutherland, who retires with a record of 931 wins, including 71 stakes scores from 7,350 mounts, released a statement on her website, ChantalSutherlandJockey.com. "Horse racing has been my life for the past 14 years," she declared in the statement. "I've reached many of the goals that I set for myself. I've lived out many of the dreams I had as a little girl, back when I was riding my pony, mucking stalls, feeding cows, aspiring to finally become a professional jockey and racing in stakes races on a worldwide stage. I'm so very blessed and grateful of the life that I have lived and career that I've had." Sutherland wrote fondly of her memorable rides aboard multiple Grade 1 winner Game On Dude, a horse she made history with in 2011 by becoming the first female jockey to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. "This past year or so has been so amazing it's actually overwhelming having to put it to words. I crossed paths with a horse that happened to change my life," the statement read. "That horse is named Game On Dude and what a horse! He's a soldier. Together we traveled the world. We won the Santa Anita Big 'Cap, Goodwood, almost won the Breeder's Cup Classic; we won the San Antonio, Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Californian. We traveled to Dubai and raced in the world's richest race, the Dubai Duty Free World Cup."