Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott booked for solid Woodbine Mile ride

By Lance Whittaker September 15, 2023
Rico Walcott winning King Edward Stakes with War Bomber in August. Rico Walcott winning King Edward Stakes with War Bomber in August. Michael Burns

Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott has landed a solid ride, the 6-1 morning line bet War Bomber in Saturday’s rich Ricoh Woodbine Mile at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Canada.

Only six horses will contest the CAN$1 million event over eight furlongs on turf and while War Bomber is only the fourth-best fancied in the field, the five-year-old gelding is coming off a big win in last month’s CAN$200,000 King Edward Stakes with Walcott and trainer Norman McKnight is hopeful he can register a repeat added-money win.

“I thought he raced fantastic in the King Eddie,” McKnight said in a DRF web site story. “He came out of the race in good shape. We breezed him the other day, and Rico thought he breezed better than before his last race. I hope he’s right. I hope he reflects that when he runs,” McKnight added.

The 34-year-old Walcott, a 13-time champion jockey at Canadian tracks including eight titles at Northlands Park, is having his first season at Woodbine and has already recorded two stakes wins at the Toronto Oval. Three other Caribbean jockeys have previously won the Woodbine Mile – Barbadians Patrick Husbands and Slade Callaghan and Trinidad and Tobago-born Richard Dos Ramos.

World-famous owners Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby won last year’s Woodbine Mile with the super three-year-old Modern Games and return – again with jockey William Buick -- with another Ireland-bred entry, Master of The Seas, an even-money favourite for the Woodbine Mile, jointly the richest race in Canadian racing along with the King’s Plate.

The event is a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at California’s Santa Anita Park in November and one of three Grade 1 ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup Day qualifiers on Saturday’s card, along with the Summer and Natalma stakes for two-year-olds.

The Woodbine Mile field also includes the 5-2 second favourite Shirl’s Speight who will be ridden by John Velazquez, the most successful Woodbine Mile jockey with five wins. Shirl’s Speight was fourth in last year’s Woodbine Mile.



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