SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) – Angela Hermann has called races before, but never a full thoroughbred card.
No woman in North America ever has, until Saturday.
“I’ve loved horse racing since I was 11. I’ve loved it since I was a little girl,” Hermann said. “And when I watched the Kentucky Derby in ’98, I picked the winner, Real Quiet, that year, and I was hooked. I was completely hooked.”
Hermann, an Apple Valley grad, started working at the track as soon as she could drive. First she was an usher, then took tickets, parked cars, worked in sales, and she continued to work her way up.
Three years ago, she got a job as Canterbury’s race analyst.
And Saturday, she made history when filling in for regular track announcer Paul Allen, who is in Detroit for his other job – calling Vikings games.
“It’s a sport that’s very traditional, and I don’t want to say ‘niche-y,’ it kind of is,” Hermann said. “But it’s always been a sport where men have dominated. And women have made their presence more and more in the horse-related side of things, like trainers, jockeys. i mean, they’re all doing great things.”
Hermann says this is but one step on a long road.
“One by one, the dominos are falling, and this is just the next domino in line, announcing races. Hopefully this is just a trail blazed, and not the end of the line,” she said.
After the first race, it suddenly dawned on her. She relayed the significance of the moment the way any good announcer would. You could hear it in her voice.
“A dream come true,” Hermann said. “Not to be too cliché about it, but it really was. I’ve wanted to since I was a little kid.”
There’s a female announcer in Australia, another coming up the ranks in England, and a harness racing announcer in Canada. And there have been a few female guest announcers in America, including Hermann, to call a race or two.
But she’s the first to ever do a full card in North America.