Monday, October 5, 2009

Husbands Lands 2,000th Victory

Patrick Husbands tallied his 2,000th career win in Sunday’s 10th race at Woodbine. A six-time Sovereign Award winner and five-time leading rider at Woodbine, Husbands partnered with trainer Mark Casse, owner Eugene Melnyk and four-year-old gelding Grazettes Landing to reach the milestone.

“This is a pretty nice horse,” said Husbands, who currently has a long lead in the race for 2009 leading rider at Woodbine. “He got hurt. I got on him his last four breezes. He was breezing unbelievably. I tried to give him as easy a trip as possible.”

As for the milestone, Husbands is appreciative of the significance and the local horsemen that have helped contribute to the achievement. “It’s a great honor,” he said. “I’ve won about 600 (races) and change for Mark Casse. He’s made me who I am today. I give him all the credit. My agent Gary Kemplen is doing a fantastic job.”

Husbands also remembers the years before he became leading rider and the importance of trainers like Kathy Patton-Casse, Tom Patton, Sr. and Reade Baker, who all gave him a shot before his career started to soar. “One of the first guys who really gave me an opening at Woodbine was Reade Baker. He was one of the first big outfits that gave me the break,” he said.

A native of Bridgetown, Barbados, Husbands is the youngest rider to ever win the prestigious Cockspur Cup in his hometown at the age of 16. The Brampton resident has won several high profile races throughout his career, including the 2003 Triple Crown (Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales and Breeders’ Stakes) with Gus Schickedanz’s Wando and the 2001 Woodbine Mile with Numerous Times.

Last year, Husbands, who was honored with the Barbados Service Star in 2004, won a colony-best 166 wins to secure his second consecutive title. Husbands, 36, became a Canadian citizen in 2000. He has 152 stakes scores, 34 of which are graded.

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