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History made at the California State Fair
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - by John Pawlak (USTA)

History was recently made at the California State Fair at Sacramento.
This past Friday, in the sixth race on the card, Megan Beauchamp became the first woman to win a race at the State Fair meet, raced at Cal-Expo Raceway, located on the State Fairgrounds.

And, Beauchamp also made personal history; the race marked her first start in a purse race -- and her first win.

Horseracing has been conducted at the California State Fair throughout most of its 150-year history, but harness racing had not been a fixture at the fair for the past 38 years, until this year.

"I couldn't believe it," Beauchamp told the Sacramento Bee. "I just turned 21 three weeks ago, so this was like a belated birthday present. I was very excited. I also was very nervous out there."

Beauchamp drove a 13-year-old, Theoras Fella, who made up for his driver’s lack of experience; the son of Cam Fella was making his 402nd purse start, and earned his 62nd career win. He paid $31.20 to win.

Beauchamp is racing horses for her uncle, driver-trainer Chris Hermandez, and told the newspaper that she had worked regularly with Hernandez’s horses for a number of years. She had ridden hunters and jumpers, but switched allegiance to Standardbreds after having suffered a knee injury.

Beauchamp had made 12 qualifying starts prior to making her purse debut this past Friday.