Williams still tall in the saddle
TEENAGED Barbadian jockey Rey Williams continues to ride high in the saddle and make quick strides to the top among the greats in the Canadian horse racing arena.
This year, the 2017 Sovereign Award winner has landed 22 wins, 27 seconds and 18 thirds, while topping the Red Diamond Stakes and two of the seven stakes races in the Alberta Fall Classic.
Last year, Williams had 41 wins, 51 seconds and 45 thirds in 261 starts after losing his apprenticeship and starting out as a full-fledged jockey on May 5.
The 19-year-old Flagstaff, St Michael resident also topped the class, winning the Alberta Oaks and the Red Diamond Express, as well as capturing titles at the Alberta “A” Circuit, and other stakes races throughout 2017.
“It’s been a bit tougher obviously losing the apprenticeship, so now I have to take full weight just like everyone else.
“Still, it’s been a fairly decent year for me, because as a journey and on the first year it’s always really hard to adjust,” he told NATION SPORT in an interview from Canada
“So far, it’s been amazing. Even with a month left, it has been a good year as this is my first year without my claim,” he added while explaining that the first 60 races are done with a claim, while the rest are full weight.
Despite not having the apprenticeship, he earned CAN$262 128, while last year he accumulated CAN$471 415.
A recent triple win was paramount to propelling Williams to his dream of capturing this year’s Jockey Of The Year award after winning three races.
He secured a double last Saturday after winning the second race on Solon’s Warning at 2-1 by 11 lengths, going 1-1/16 miles. Williams also won Race 7 aboard Siberian Bear at 5-1 going six furlongs.
The following day, he again won Race 7 on Kintsugi Kat at 11-1 going at 6-1/2 furlongs. Both events were held at Century Downs in Calgary. Presently, Williams stands in fourth place with eight wins behind fellow Barbadian jockey and reigning Northlands Park champion Rico Walcott, who is currently in third place with ten wins. Jamaican Shamaree Muir and Benezuelan Rigo Sarmiento are on 11 wins each.
“It’s been great. It really is a blessing to be where I am right now and still being successful. I just always thank God so much for being with me. It’s also a good experience to be riding with such talented jockeys, and still be able to come out on top.