Saturday, April 13, 2024

Samuel moving to W. Virginia


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After spending a mere four months participating in the 65-day Tropical meet at Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens Florida, former Barbados champion jockey Jalon Samuel is shifting his tack.
Samuel is booked to ride on the rescheduled tenth day of the BTC’s first racing season tomorrow at the Garrison Savannah before leaving either Sunday or Monday for Charlestown, West Virginia.
Between September and December last year, Samuel went to post on 31 occasions at Calder and recorded three wins. He also had five seconds and six third places finishes for earnings of US$81 234.
When the meet concluded last December, Samuel returned to Barbados, where he was mainly stationed, only travelling once to the neighbouring Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Trinidad.
In an interview with WEEKEND SPORT, Samuel said he was looking forward to riding in West Virginia, where he reckons he will get more opportunities as the meets run simultaneously at various tracks, unlike at Calder, where only one meet is held at a time. In addition, he will be riding as a freelance journeyman.
Charlestown is a three-quarter of a mile track that features a four-and-a-half and a seven-furlong starting chute. Races are run all year. From January until April races take place Tuesday through to Saturday beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Between May and August, there is a change in the season as the Tuesday night races give way to Sunday afternoon racing, which begins at 1 p.m. This is followed by the winter meet from September to December.
It is the first time that Samuel will be riding consistently under the floodlights, an experience he is eagerly anticipating.
In his short riding career, Samuel has landed the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup back in March 2012 aboard the Sir David Seale-owned Dancin David for trainer Liz Deane. Charlestown is the home of one of the top money-earning races in the United States – the Grade II Charlestown Classic worth US $1 500 000.
Charlestown is also the home of Trinidadian-born jockey Dale Whittaker, who is no stranger to riding in Barbados. Whittaker finished tied for the 13th spot in the jockey’s table last year with 53 wins for earnings of US$892 830.
After a two-year stint back home, local jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch is returning to his former base Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg Manitoba, where he will join fellow Barbadian Christopher Husbands at that track.
Cumberbatch last had returns of eight wins, 11 seconds and ten thirds from 141 rides, which totalled CAN$76 807 in earnings.
Other Barbadian riders plying their trade abroad are Patrick Husbands, Slade Callaghan and Christopher Griffith at Woodbine race track; Juan Crawford and defending champion Tyrek Husbands at Fort Erie; Quincy Welch, defending champion Rico Walcott, Kyle Carter and Desmond Bryan at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta.


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