Walcott wins maiden title
EDMONTON – Barbadian Rico Walcott celebrated his maiden Northlands Park jockeys’ title by reeling off a triple on the final day of the season on Monday.
Already assured of the championship after opening up an unassailable lead over the last week, Walcott captured Race 4 with Wizard In Winter, Race 5 aboard Honorable Lady and Race 10 with Juan Might to dominate the 13-race card.
He finished the five-month season on 119 wins, 19 clear of his nearest rival Fernando Perez, with Stephan Heiler third on 58 wins.
Walcott finished second 102 times and was third 81 times, for overall earnings of CAN$1.38 million.
His victory follows on the success of his older brother Rickey, who won four titles at Northlands Park during a successful campaign. He secured a hat-trick of titles between 2005-2007 and returned in 2009 to top the standings again.
On Monday, Rico opened his account when he steered 2-1 chance Wizard In Winter to a come-from-behind victory over the two-year-olds, going 6 1/2 furlongs.
The gray gelding lacked acceleration early on as pacesetter Scoot For The Loot shot four lengths clear, but Walcott got him up late at the wire to win by three-quarter lengths.
In contrast, Walcott made all the running aboard Honorable Lady in the next race to dismiss the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by 4 3/4 lengths.
In another 6 1/2-furlong trip, Walcott put the favourite to the front to set the early fractions, racing six lengths clear in the stretch before cruising to the finish.
Walcott completed his triple with another favourite Juan Might, taking the four-year-old bay gelding to the wire by two lengths.
He stalked the pace set by the duelling pair of Six Pack and Stephanson before rallying three-wide in the stretch to prove best when it counted. (CMC)