Trainer DaCosta finds momentum on US circuit
For the most part, jockeys have carried the flag of attention that highlights Jamaican jockeys and trainers who ply their trade successfully on various racing circuits in the USA.
Among the most visible jockeys on the international stage are Rajiv Maragh and Shaun Bridgemohan. However, Jamaican expertise does not reside only within riding, but also in training.
One such trainer is Jason DaCosta, who ended last season with 21 winners following a slow start with two wins in his first two years.
The second-generation trainer and son of many-time champion, Wayne, chose to follow in his father's footsteps and is at present stating his case clearly in Florida as he strives to fashion a successful career in a competitive environment, as reported in the noted Daily Race Form yesterday by racing writer Doug McCoy.
In looking at the young DaCosta's foundation for success, McCoy said: "It was almost pre-ordained that Jason DaCosta would become a horse trainer. After all, DaCosta's father, Wayne DaCosta, is a 12-time leading trainer in Jamaica, a member of the Jamaican Racing Hall of Fame, and has saddled more than 1,600 winners.
"Among his top horses in Jamaica were War Zone, winner of the Jamaican Triple Crown and undefeated in his first 12 career races; the filly Thornbird, who beat the boys in the Jamaican Derby; and Good Prospect, who won the Jamaican Derby in 1999. The elder DaCosta ranks second only to the legendary Philip Feanny for career races won on the Caribbean island."
The fact that Jason did not only show an affinity to train horses, but also demonstrated business acumen, made him a worthy candidate for success in the field, which was not lost on the DRS writer.
"The younger DaCosta worked for his father for almost five years in a stable that has a reputation as a tightly-run ship with Wayne DaCosta the captain, then came to the United States in 2009 with his father's encouragement."
Prying further into Jason's choice of the USA, as opposed to Jamaica, being a young and inexperienced trainer, McCoy disclosed that the youngster's father told his son that the United States "was the place to come to broaden my knowledge of not only the training portion of the game, but the business end of things as well".
"DaCosta started slowly, winning just two races in his first two years in the United States, but in 2011 the young horseman posted 13 winners and in the recently-concluded 2012 season, the DaCosta stable posted 21 winners with a 17 per cent winning percentage," the article added.
In the first month of the Tampa Bay Downs meeting, DaCosta has been on fire, winning seven races from 16 starters for a blazing 43 per cent winning rate.
The star of the DaCosta stable is Mind Spell, a Proud Accolade gelding who has a win and a second place from two outings over the track and is pointing to Saturday's $100,000 Pasco Stakes at seven furlongs on the main track.
Mind Spell was a pace factor throughout his last, and DaCosta said the Pasco will be a good test as to the three-year-old's ability to handle longer distances.
"I think from the way he trains that he'll be fine going longer, but you never know till you test the waters," he admitted.
"If he gives a good account of himself Saturday, then we can think about the Sam Davis."