Husbands, Walcott up for big award
TORONTO, Canada – Ace Barbadian reinsmen Patrick Husbands and Rico Walcott will go head-to-head for the honour of Canada’s Most Outstanding Jockey, at the prestigious 40th Sovereign Awards here tomorrow night.
The Sovereign Awards, hosted by the Jockey Club of Canada, honours the outstanding riders, trainers, owners and horses throughout the Canadian horse racing industry.
Husbands and Walcott are among four candidates up for the honour of Outstanding Jockey, with Luis Contreras and Eurico Rosa da Silva also in contention.
Husbands crowned himself champion at the prominent Woodbine race track last year when he totalled 170 victories to win his seventh riding title at the venue but first in five years.
Contreras, the three-time defending champion, finished seven back in second while da Silva, the 2010 champion, was third in the colony with 144 wins.
The 41-year-old Husbands also led the colony in stakes wins, clinching a career-best 27, topped by his conquests in the million-dollar Queen’s Plate and the Woodbine Oaks, aboard the outstanding Lexie Lou.
Husbands also led in earnings with CAN$9.6 million and with a superb win percentage of 25 per cent.
Should he win, it will be his eighth Most Outstanding Jockey award, following similar successes in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Walcott, meanwhile, was equally outstanding at Northlands Park in Edmonton, wrapping up his fourth straight title with 141 victories.
He also won 23 stakes races to finish with $1.7 million in earnings.
Among his added-money haul was the Grade III $200 000 Canadian Derby with Edison and the $150 000 British Columbia Derby, another Grade III event, with Alert Bay at Hastings race course.
Walcott subsequently returned home to capture the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup last month with Sayler’s Creek for noted American owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Walcott has never won a Sovereign Award.
A third Barbadian jockey is up for another honour at Friday’s Sovereign Awards, with Damario Bynoe selected as one of the candidates for Most Outstanding Apprentice.
In his first year outside of Barbados, Bynoe was very impressive in finishing fourth in the colony with 45 wins and earnings of $550 000, to be sixth on the money list. He will battle with Sheena Ryan, Erika Smilovsky and Nick Webb for the honour.
Lexie Lou, meanwhile, has been nominated for Champion Three-Year-Old Female and Champion Female Turf Horse while her trainer, Mark Casse, is up for his seventh Sovereign Award. (CMC)