I feel like Superman - Dane Nelson
RJR SPORTS FOUNDATION - PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD NOMINEE
CHAMPION and leading jockey Dane 'Warrior King' Nelson is among the five sportsmen and women nominated for the 2013 RJR Sports Foundation's Peoples' Choice Sports Award. Other nominees are; Javon Francis, Jermaine "Tuffy" Anderson, Khadija Shaw and Yanique Thompson.
Nelson was nominated for the prestigious award after riding six winners from eight rides at Caymanas Park on November 17. The six wins have helped to take him into the lead for the first time this season in the Jockeys' Championship. His six winners were: Deliciosa, Mr Perfection, Reign Of Deftiny, Israelite, Double The Honey and Di Cobre. Nelson was originally set to ride nine horses on the day, but one was declared a late non-starter.
"I feel like 'Superman', very excited to be nominated for the award", Nelson told The Complete Racing Guide.
"In life, you hardly get to ride six winners, you mostly ride three, four or even five winners, but six... this is a great achievement for me. It has elevated my career," he added.
Nelson, who is in the best form of his professional, said there is no turning back as he is riding with confidence and that everyone should be looking for more greatness from the 'Warrior King' and he thanked the trainers, owners, grooms, fans and everyone who has supported him. The reigning champion jockey also reached the personal milestone of riding 700 winners. "It feels good to achieve such a milestone, I just have to keep working hard," he said.
Two months ago if the question was asked: who will win this year's jockey championship? The answer would be Omar Walker by a city block, but ask the same question today, and you would get a completely different answer.
Nelson trailed Walker from the start of the season, and was 25 winners behind the former champion at the start of September, but winning races have changed the status of the two riders and possibly the outcome of the title race.
"The turning point in the championship for me came on November 17, when I rode those six winners. It changed the situation and gave me a chance of winning and successfully defending my title as the champion jockey. It is a wonderful feeling, and not even words can explain how I feel right now. It
shows that hard work and dedication can really pay off", he said.
"To be that many winners behind Walker and now leading the standing, I feel like a king... a Warrior King." Nelson quickly added.
Nelson is very confident that he will retain his championship title as he is on top of his game.
"I am super fit right now, I am riding with a lot of confidence now and if I stay fit, avoid suspensions and stay injury-free then I am very confident in my chances to win the Jockeys' Championship this year", he said.
It is not over yet, as Omar Walker is also a classy jockey and knows what it takes to become a champion. He has done it four times before.
With just three race days to go and a possible minimum of 30 races, the battle continues with Nelson (108) leading Walker (104) by four winners.