Edmonton – Barbadian Rico Walcott and Jamaican Dane Nelson both tasted success and came away from the weekend deadlocked in the standings at the Century Mile racetrack in Canada.
Walcott, 31, logged a triple on Friday’s eight-race card before adding a solitary win on Saturday, while Nelson, 37, starred with a double on Saturday’s eight-race programme.
Both riders are now locked on 39 wins in the six-month season that started on April 30, seven adrift of leader Enrique Alonzo Gonzalez.
Walcott, the defending champion after finishing eight wins ahead of Gonzalez last season, took all the headlines on Friday.
He opened his account in race three with 3-1 bet Cab Sav, beating the three-year-olds and upward by a length in a front-running effort over 1 700 metres.
Walcott quickly followed up in a six furlong sprint in race five, combining with 2-1 chance Snap Count to edge the three-year-olds and upward by a head, after stalking the pacesetter Pump the Brakes.
And he wrapped up his tally for the day when he steered 4-1 bet First Prince to a half-length score in race seven over seven furlongs for the three-year-olds and upward.
Walcott’s name popped up again the next day when he paired with favourite Kentucky Legend to crush the field of three-year-olds and upward by 10-3/4 lengths, in a dominant gate-to-wire performance.
Nelson, meanwhile, found the winners’ enclosure in race one with favourite Mean Streak, producing an excellent front-running effort to dismiss the three-year-old and upward maidens by 7-1/2 lengths.
And Nelson returned to the winners’ circle in race three over seven furlongs, piloting 2-1 choice Temple of Zoom to a one-length win over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares.