• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
3,306 Todd Kabel
Canada: The Canadian racing community has been stunned by news of the death of former top jockey Todd Kabel, one of the most successful riders in the nation’s history.
A six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s outstanding jockey, Manitoba-born Kabel died on Saturday [March 27] in tragic circumstances. According to reports, Kabel was found deceased in a park in Tottenham, Ontario. He was 55.
As aggressive as they come in the saddle, Kabel dominated the Woodbine standings for a long period, riding more than 100 winners for 20 consecutive seasons. His total of 3,306 career victories (thoroughbreds only) includes a pair of wins in the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s signature Classic, with Regal Discovery (1995) and Scatter The Gold (2000).
However, he also faced a lifelong battle against the scales, resulting in depression and dependence on drink and drugs. After originally walking away from the sport in 2009, he ended a comeback in 2013.
1 John & Thady Gosden
GB: Understandably, much was made of the amazing exploits of the new John & Thady Gosden training partnership on Saturday with high-profile victories at home (with Haqeeqy in the Lincoln) and abroad (with Lord North and Mishriff in Dubai, though the Meydan racecard still said ‘J Gosden’ on his own).
However, the record books will show that ‘Daddy & Thady’ (as no one is labelling them!) got off the mark on Friday [March 26] at Lingfield Park. They struck with their very first runner as an official team, namely the Frankel filly Regent under stable stalwart Rav Havlin in a novice stakes on the all-weather.
400 Adam Beschizza
USA: British jockey Adam Beschizza continues to thrive in America, where he partnered his 400th winner on Friday [March 16] with Banquet Chef, the first leg of a double at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Beschizza, 28, finished the prestigious meet with 85 winners, three behind James Graham, who topped the jockeys’ standings. The jockey known as ‘Biscuit’, however, was in front when it came to prize-money, his mounts having accrued $3.11m compared to Graham’s $2.99m.
Best known in the UK for his Cambridgeshire/Cesarewitch double with Third Time Lucky and Grumeti in 2015, Beschizza ended the weekend with 404 career winners in the US, where he began riding permanently in 2017.
6 Eric Cancel
USA: Eric Cancel equalled the New York Racing Association (NYRA) single-day record with six wins on Sunday’s [March 28] final card of the 20-21 Aqueduct winter meet – enough to overhaul Kendrick Carmouche and land the first riding title of his career.
Nobody has ever ridden seven winners on a single NYRA card, but this was the 23rd six-timer. Cancel, 24, was in the money in all eight races at Aqueduct and the Puerto Rican duly nabbed the track’s riding title with 78 winners, two more than the luckless Carmouche.
Rudy Rodriguez dominated the trainers’ standings with 36 wins at the 54-day winter meet [December 10 to March 28]. Rodriguez now has ten Aqueduct training titles to his name, plus two more at Belmont.
138 Irad Ortiz
USA: Irad Ortiz set a new Gulfstream Park record with 138 winners when the track’s Championship Meet ended with Saturday’s [March 27] Florida Derby card. The previous record of 137 was set in 2017-18 by Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Luis Saez.
Ortiz, 28, has won the last three Eclipse Awards as America’s champion jockey. He capped his third successive Gulfstream riding title in style with victory in the $750,000 highlight on the Todd Pletcher-trained Known Agenda.
2,000 Leandro Goncalves
USA: Leandro Goncalves became the latest rider to hit the 2,000-winner milestone in the US when he partnered Karl Broberg-trained Gurkha Gold to score at Sam Houston on Saturday [March 27].