Walcott at the double as Caribbean riders dominate
EDMONTON, Canada (CMC):
Barbadian Rico Walcott won twice to lead a Caribbean domination of the seven-race card at Northlands Park here Wednesday.
The 26-year-old, hunting a fifth consecutive title at the western Canada race track, scored with favourite Holy Force in race two and returned in the day's final race to win with 12-1 outsider Skimmer Jim.
With just over a month left in the season, Walcott is the comfortable leader with 116 wins, already 57 clear of the second-placed Scott Williams on 59.
Young Jamaican Tony Maragh is back in third on 40 wins.
Walcott opened his account in race two over a mile, making all the running with the four-year-old filly Holy Force, to beat the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares, which have never won three races, by five lengths.
In another mile trip in race seven, Walcott guided the five-year-old bay gelding Skimmer Jim to a strong two-length victory over the three-year-olds and upward.
The pair stalked from just off the pace set by favourite Herculean before driving strongly into the stretch and edging away late on.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Anti-guan jockey Kwame Joseph continued to impress, albeit notching only his fifth win in 73 rides this season.
The virtually unknown rider reached the winners' enclosure when he steered 12-1 bet Jazzy Notion to a narrow win over the three-year-old and upward maidens.
Going a mile, Joseph opened up a near five-length lead with the three-year-old gelding, was then forced to duel into the stretch with 38-1 longshot Never Everever, before staving off the fast-finishing Airship by a nose.
There were also wins for Maragh, who won race five over six furlongs with Clever Classy Gal and for fellow Jamaican Dane Nelson, who captured race six over six furlongs with 11-1 chance Grandpa George.