MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is a day that Angela Hermann will never forget: May 2, 1998.
As an 11-year-old girl, Hermann sat transfixed in front of her television as Real Quiet won the Kentucky Derby.
Bob Baffert became the first trainer ever to win America’s most prestigious race in back-to-back years, and Hermann cashed her first winning ticket, igniting a lifelong passion for horse racing.
Fifteen years later, Hermann will make her own history in the sport. On Saturday afternoon at Canterbury Park, she will call all eight races as the track announcer.
It’s something no woman in North America has ever done: call an entire day of thoroughbred racing.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Hermann. “I’ve imagined the feeling a long time and it is such a rush to get into that (announcer’s) booth.”
Hermann, 27, is Canterbury’s paddock analyst, offering insights into every race during the 69-day meet. She has already called more than a dozen races this summer in preparation, working with regular track announcer Paul Allen.
Allen, also the radio voice of the Minnesota Vikings, will be in Detroit this weekend for the team’s season opener against the Lions.
“Paul has been great; everyone here has been fantastic,” Hermann said. “I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it wasn’t for my family, all of the (Canterbury staff) in the press box and all of my friends and fans at the track.”
A number of horse racing’s big players have congratulated Hermann through social media. Even Larry Collmus, who calls the Kentucky Derby for NBC, took to Facebook to encourage her.
To Herrmann, the chance to break a glass ceiling in a sport that is traditionally dominated by men is exciting.
“I hope that women are encouraged to get involved in the horse racing,” Hermann said. “I’m getting involved in a way that no other woman in the United States has before and I’ve been amazed at the outpouring of support.”
Hermann, an Apple Valley native, has been a Canterbury employee since age 16. She has worked in admissions, hospitality, group sales and valet before getting a chance at publications and information, which led her to analysis.
After working at various tracks around the country, she was hired as the Shakopee track’s full-time paddock analyst in 2011.
Post time for Saturday’s first race is 1:30 p.m.