Baltimore native Mary Eppler made racing history on December 31 when she became the first female trainer to ever win a trainer’s title at Laurel Park. Eppler, who is 62 and bases her horses out of Pimlico Race Course, finished out the fall meet with 24 wins, bringing her 2016 total to 49 wins, 43 seconds and 40 thirds. Her 2016 earning totaled $1,747,721 from 282 starts. She currently holds 761 career wins.
Eppler credits her racing start to breaking and hot-walking horses for the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon. From there she held a variety of race related jobs including working the backstretch at the Timonium Fairgrounds with current Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale. Eppler has become a steady presence on the Maryland and Mid-Atlantic circuit since getting her trainer’s license in 1980.
Her fall meet title also makes Eppler just the second female trainer in Maryland to top a standings board behind Karen Patty, who won the 1992 spring meet at Pimlico Race Course.
Matthew Schera earned the fall Laurel Park owners’ title and Jevian Toledo topped the jockey standings. The fall meet ran from early September through December 31. Racing continued at Laurel on January 1 with the start of the winter meet.