Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott ready for big move to Woodbine

By Lance Whittaker March 07, 2023
Rico Walcott Rico Walcott

Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott has decided to move to Toronto’s competitive Woodbine racetrack after 15 years in Western Canada where he has been dominant with multiple championship titles.

A 13-time champion at various tracks in Alberta, Walcott is expected to begin his Toronto stint when the Woodbine season starts next month.

Woodbine will be far more challenging than his lengthy sojourn in Edmonton but Caribbean riders have won multiple championship titles at the world-famous Woodbine in the past, Barbadian Patrick Husbands, Trinidad and Tobago’s Emile Ramsammy and Jamaica George HoSang and the 33-year-old Walcott is hoping for a successful transition.

“I am going to do my best like a did out west and hope for the best,” Walcott told ex-jockey Sean Hall’s Journeys Horse Racing Talk Show.

Walcott, who left Barbados for Canada in 2007, has won 1,524 races in North America including 160 stakes triumphs with mounts’ earnings of just under US$20 million. He won eight jockeys’ titles at the now defunct Northlands Park and was also champion three times at Century Downs and twice at Century Mile.

Walcott survived a career-threatening medical issue in March 2019 when -- after suffering sudden seizures -- he was diagnosed with a brain tumour “the size of a golf ball”, doctors said. After surgery, Walcott returned to race-riding a few months later and would remarkably win the late season Century Downs title in October 2019.

Several Barbadian jockeys are currently based at Woodbine, including seven-time champion jockey Patrick Husbands, Slade Jones, Juan Crawford and Jason Hoyte who all finished as top-20 riders in the 2022 season.

Walcott placed seventh in last Saturday’s Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup at the Garrison Savannah aboard the 7-1 bet American Diamond, and is now targeting the 2023 Woodbine season which opens on Saturday, April 22 and runs through Sunday, December 10.

 

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