Walcott tightens grip on Northlands title
WINNIPEG, Canada (CMC):
Four-time defending champion Rico Walcott further strengthened his hold on a fifth Northlands Park title when he rode a triple at the western Canada racetrack here Saturday.
The Barbadian reinsman won race two with favourite Secret Way, race five with another favourite, Eight Ender, before wrapping up the eight-race card with a handsome victory aboard 4-1 chance Skimmer Jim.
Walcott, the brother of former Northlands champion Ricky Walcott, now leads the standings with 93 wins - almost double the tally of the second-placed Scott Williams, who has 48.
He opened his account on Saturday over 5-1/2 furlongs when he made all the running with two-year-old bay gelding Secret Way, to beat the two-year-olds by seven lengths.
Walcott then returned in race five with a carbon-copy ride, to carry Eight Ender to a resounding 12-1/4 length gate-to-wire win over the three-year-olds, who have never won two races.
Going six furlongs, Walcott was through the quarter with the gelding in a time of 23.12 and was three lengths clear at the half run in 47.06.
They then drew off in the stretch to reach the wire unchallenged.
Walcott returned to the winners' enclosure in the day's final race when he guided the five-year-old bay gelding, Skimmer Jim, to the wire by a length.
Going a mile for three-year-olds yet to win three races, Skimmer Jim lacked early speed, but Walcott got the best out of him in the stretch run, and he hauled in favourite and pace-setter Lucky Ed to take the win.
The Northlands title wraps up October 24.