Husbands gets top Woodbine honour
TORONTO – (CMC) Six-time Woodbine champion Patrick Husbands has been awarded the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to the sport.
In a sterling career spanning two decades, the 41-year-old has racked up over 2 700 wins including 235 stakes wins – 55 of which were graded races – to be one of the leading jockeys across North America.
Husbands joins Trinidadian jockeys Richard Dos Ramos and Emile Ramsammy as Caribbean riders who have been recipients of the award.
“I’ve heard all the stories about Gomez. He was a top class rider and no one ever has a bad word to say about him,” said Husbands.
“When I came to Canada, I always hoped that it would turn out good, but I never dreamed that one day I would be at a stage to receive this award named for one of the greatest jockeys ever to ride at Woodbine. It’s an absolute honour.”
Husbands has emerged as one of the finest ever riders to grace the prestigious Toronto oval. He won his first title in 1999 and never finished outside the top three in the standings until last year when his season was curtailed by injury and limited him to just 357 rides.
Husbands has finished among the top money earners every year as well, fuelled largely by his penchant for winning added money events.
The pinnacle of his career came in 2003 when he carried the brilliant Wando to the Canadian Triple Crown. Two years prior, he had captured the Grade One $1 million Woodbine Mile with Numerous Times and the $750 000 Grade One Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park with Exciting Story.