Sport

The best in racing honoured

Top former jockeys, trainers, last three Triple Crown champions honoured at Yearling Sale Triple Champions Awards Dinner

BY RUDDY ALLEN

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Three of Jamaica's finest-ever jockeys, Winston Griffiths, Emilio Rodriquez and George HoSang were honoured at the first Yearling Sale Triple Champions Awards Dinner held at the AC Hotel Kingston on Thursday evening (November 7).

Griffiths, Rodriquez and HoSang were honoured for their contribution and for building the sport of horse racing in Jamaica.

Griffiths, who rode a record 44 Classic winners including 12 Derby victories, leads the all-time jockeys' standing with 1,663 winners from 6,877 rides. Griffiths won five jockeys' championships in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1995.

Rodriquez, who is sixth on the all-time list rode 1,084 winners from 4,411 rides. He has also ridden 100 winners from 1,904 starts in North America. He won the jockeys' championship in Jamaica on four occasions in 1982, 1984, 1985 and 1987.

HoSang rode 642 winners from 2,149 rides, which places him 16th on the all-time standing. Champion jockey in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975, HoSang rode 1,395 winners from 8,843 rides in North America and has won two championships at Woodbine in 1979 and 1981.

Also honoured were six Jamaican trainers who have been doing well in North America — Laurie Silvera, Charlton Baker, Jose Pinchin, Rohan Crichton, Raymond Handal and Jason DaCosta.

Silvera saddled 1,049 winners from 7,033 starts, Baker has won 1,655 races from 7,539 starts, Pinchin 393 winners from 2,793, Handal 103 winners from 631 starts, Crichton 134 from 808 starts and DaCosta 315 winners from 1,922 starts.

“In Jamaica, I got the seed of wanting to be a racehorse trainer, that's all I wanted to do while going to school at Excelsior. Most of my studying was about racehorses as I just wanted to be a trainer.

“I have always tried to do my best for myself and to represent the island well. For me, I just love the sport, it was never about the money,” Baker said after receiving his award.

Handal in his response to the recognition said: “Tonight to be recognised with such great legends and to return to Jamaica is just amazing. This was where I got my first taste of racing and to come here and be recognised is special to me and I would just like to thank everybody and say I appreciate it a lot.”

The last three Triple Crown winners — Mark My Word (2010), She's A Maneater (2017) and Supreme Soul (2019) — were also honoured.

Chairman of the organising committee, Robert Dabdoub said that the awards dinner was a success.

“Well, I am happy how it worked out. I am happy for all the recipients. They really deserved it.

“They are role models for young people in the country. I'm very proud of the trainers who came down from the US who are doing well. People should follow what they are doing as Jamaicans have talent everywhere,” he said.


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