Category: Canada Connect Created on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 06:52
He's been Canada's top jockey an unprecedented seven times and rode the country's last Triple Crown winner.
On Sunday, Patrick Husbands earned another career milestone.
The resident of Brampton, Ont., guided filly Dixie Strike to victory in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack. It marked the second time Husbands had captured the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown — his first was in 2003 when he guided Wando to Canada's last Triple Crown title — but this one had much more meaning for the 39-year-old native of Bridgetown, Barbados.
The 115-year-old Fort Erie Racetrack has hosted the Prince of Wales since 1929 but is scheduled to close Dec. 31. And Husbands admitted he crossed the finish line with a heavy heart knowing, barring a miracle, it was for the last time as the Prince of Wales champion at the facility.
"This is another big stepping stone for me as a rider," Husbands said. "I always tell everyone this is the best racetrack I've ever ridden on in terms of a dirt track.
"It is always a fair track. All the other tracks you go to you always got to keep watching the races to see what speed is holding and if the rail is dead. But when you come to Fort Erie, I just love it here."
So much so, Husbands said, he often spends his spare time watching Fort Erie races at home on television.
"I always watch racing at Fort Erie," he said. "Everyone who comes to my house tells me, 'You don't have a life? Why do you always watch that.'
"But I just like it, the atmosphere.
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