Megan Scran might be one in a million
The trainer is on the cusp of her first seven-figure season and has a UTRS of .307.
by Chris Lomon
Life, as it often can be, is full of surprises. Megan Scran knows that.
The pursuit of a career working with horses has been on Scran’s radar for as long as she can recall. That it would be a career in standardbred racing, however, was not what she was thinking.
A conversation with a friend changed all that.
“I grew up showing and doing 4-H,” said Scran, who hails from Toms River, NJ. “Once I aged out of 4-H, I wanted to be involved with horses still. I was running a riding horse farm, doing lessons, and taking care of horses, and a friend said to me, ‘If you ever want to get into horse racing, I know someone, Trond Smedshammer, who is hiring.’ I knew that I was never going to be away from horses, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And the rest is history.”
A happy history, which also includes working for veteran horseman Rick Zeron, that still has much to be written.
Scran’s training career began in 2017 with just three starts. The next year, she won seven races, including her milestone victory, which came on June 26, 2018, at Monticello.
Driven by her boyfriend Scott Zeron, Foolish Virgin, a bay daughter of Always A Virgin, was sent to the front in the $5,000 pace and led every step of the way on her way to an authoritative 3 ¾-length victory in 1:56.3 as the 2-5 choice.
Scran, who won 35 total races from 2019-2022, has had a breakthrough season in 2023, a campaign that she did not see coming.
Along with new standards in wins, she is also zeroing in on $1 million in purse earnings on the year. She was at $986,295 as of Saturday afternoon.
“It definitely has been a surprising year I would say,” Scran said. “I didn’t go into this year expecting the year that I’ve had. I knew when I got Looks Like Moni that he would be a fun horse to have, a contender in the Graduate.”
The 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill has been a trotting titan for Scran, going 3-4-2 from 12 starts with over $180,000 on the campaign.
Then there is Tactical Mounds.
The well-travelled daughter of Tactical Landing has had a stellar season, which includes victories in the $275,000 New Jersey Classic at The Meadowlands and the $60,000 Pegasus at Hoosier Park in late October.
“I had her last year at 2, but she didn’t show nearly the talent she has this year,” Scran said. “Her second start this year, she trotted 1:53, and then she had a couple of races after that where we had to work through a couple of issues. Ever since she got through those, she’s been spectacular.”
In 19 engagements, the filly, owned by Thestable.ca, is 7-3-4, accompanied by over $310,000 in seasonal purse earnings.
“I am just so proud of her,” Scran said. “She has been the highlight of my career. Her and I have a great bond. She started her year pretty hot and became this sweet, mellow filly as the year went on. Every day when she jogs, she could get fired up, but in the barn, she is a very sweet horse, who has learned to win and to do that in a variety of ways. She’s won on the front, first up, from off the pace – she is an absolute pleasure.”
With 13 horses currently under her tutelage, Scran, who also notes Five Fish Species as one of her top performers, maintains a busy schedule throughout the week.
But the long hours are hardly a detriment.
“Every horse is different, and you learn to treat everyone as an individual,” she said. “They can’t all be the same program. You learn the highs are very high and the lows are very low. That’s why you keep doing it… when you get to those highs.”
When those moments come, Scran isn’t the exuberant type; at least not externally.
Like her horses, she maintains a calm and collective demeanor in victory.
“I’m definitely not a person who outwardly celebrates,” Scran said. “Internally, I am super excited and might even shed a tear, but no one else is going to see me.”
So, if she does reach that magic seven-figure mark in purse earnings, don’t expect to see a wild celebration to mark the moment.
For Scran, training is always about carrying the momentum forward.
“I’m hopeful that we can reach that by the end of the year, and it should be doable, but you never know in this sport,” she said. “It’s horse racing, so you never know. I like to keep building off any success we have. It’s been an awesome year. I’m grateful to TheStable.ca and each and every one of my owners, who have all played a major role in my success.
“At this point, reaching $1 million is the main goal. I don’t see a similar goal on the horizon at this point in the year. Next year, it will be about doing better than in 2023. It’s very satisfying, but at the same time, you are always driven to build on it.”
Once looking for a change of pace in her work with horses, Scran has found her calling as a rising star horsewoman.
Did she ever envision this journey?
“Definitely not,” she said. “I don’t come from a family who is involved in horse racing, so to find this was unexpected. But I am so glad I did.”
One thing that has remained unchanged, however, is an unwavering commitment to horses.
Even when she isn’t at the barn or watching the races, her band of pacers and trotters are never far removed from her thoughts.
“I don’t really do a lot without horses,” she said with a laugh. “I enjoy going to dinner with my friends and unwinding. In the summer, I like to go out on a lake, on a boat.”
Most of the year, Scran is focused on navigating a career that is on the fast track, and eager to sail forward to uncharted territories.
She will continue to chase those goals with a winning formula.
“It’s easy to want to look beyond what is in front of you, but I keep things in a day-to-day approach,” she said. “I find that works best for me.”