Three days of live racing returned to Rocky Mountain Turf Club, and three-day racing weekends will be in place until the end of the fall meet. Judging from attendance and handle, this is being well received by horse racing fans in Southern Alberta.
The highlight race this past weekend was the second leg of the Marathon Series, with a distance of a mile and an eighth. The big time board favourite was, "Californium", shipped in from Winnipeg and trained by local trainer, Allen Brown. Nicholas Patrick tried to pull off a gate-to-wire victory and was almost successful. Unfortunately for Patrick, Larris Allen was stalking from third until the final stretch run and pulled off the upset victory with Godfrey Weaselheads, "Lucky B.N".
Nicholas Patrick is one of the new jockey faces that has shown up at Rocky Mountain Turf Club this fall after spending most of the summer at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon. Patrick first began race riding in 2007 at his native track in Trinidad. Patrick says he first started riding horses when he was a little kid and gradually evolved into the world of horse racing. He started bare-back riding in the beginning and gradually discovered that there was such a thing as a saddle.
His first experience in Canada started last year in Saskatoon and after that meet ended, he came to Rocky Mountain Turf Club last fall. After that, the nomadic Patrick went to New York to gallop horses at Aqueduct and Belmont race tracks. After that, he resumed race riding in Trinidad for the winter and then came back to Rocky Mountain Turf Club and Marquis Downs this spring.
He was one of the most sought-after riders in Saskatoon and has become very popular with trainers at Rocky Mountain Turf Club, due to his exceptional riding skills.
Nicholas has locked up with trainer, Allan Brown, as his first-call rider. Brown has owners that also race at Century Downs in Calgary and Nicholas will be riding there as well. He is excited for the opportunity. Nicholas talks about how he has to change his style of racing from Trinidad, which had a mile and a sixteenth track, compared to riding four and five furlong tracks in Alberta. To say Nicholas loves Canada would be an understatement. He says he absolutely loves Canada and finds the people very friendly. When asked who his favourite horse has been to ride, he says, "All of them, I love every horse I ride. You never give up on any of them". Nicholas says you have to be focused and have respect for the horse and trainer to succeed as a jockey. "No focus, no respect, no rides". Wise words from a young man who undoubtedly will go far as a jockey.