THIS WINNING THING IS SOMETIMES ALL WET

 

Katelin Willey

Katelin Willey could not suppress the grin that was spreading across her face Friday night so she did the next best thing. She covered her mouth with a hand for an instant, hoping the joy might subside, at least momentarily.

It did not.

That’s the way it is for someone like Katelin, who has wanted and waited for this moment nearly six months, the first win of her career as a jockey.

She took a front-running path to victory aboard a 5-year-old named Craving Carats, trained by Carl O’Callaghan in the second race.

Willey,22,  was absolutely bubbling, and everyone who knows her was happy for her, too. At 4-11 and 100 pounds and with a persistent glow of happiness about her, who could not wish the best for this apprentice rider, who began her career in February at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.

Her fellow riders were waiting for her with buckets of ice, water and just about anything else they could come up with to give her the traditional dousing that accompanies a rider’s first win. Oh, yeah, and the baby powder was added once a sufficient dousing had occurred, assuring that the power would stick like like glue.

“I figured there’d be water,” she said, her pants and silks soaked to the skin. “But I didn’t figure on mayonnaise and soup. This smells absolutely gross.”

One by one her colleagues congratulated her, shaking her hand, yelling to her and giving her the thumbs up. Israel Hernandez, headed out for the third race, wanted to give her a hug but, in view of her state at the time, settled for a handshake. “But I’m so sexy,” Willey responded.

 

 

Willey had four mounts in Phoenix before heading to Shakopee and  came up with maiden win on the 21st mount of her young career, riding Craving Carats to his second win of the season.

“I figured he should go out front like that, especially with the five pounds we got (Willey’s apprentice allowance),” said the winning trainer. “She’s a good kid. I’m glad to see her win it.”

Willey left her home in Washington with recommendation from a friend to trainer Valorie Lund, for whom she caught on working horses. It was a steady path to her career goal.

Meanwhile, was happy to break her maiden in Shakopee as opposed to Phoenix.

“They said they were going to shave my eyebrows off if I had won down there,” she said.

By the way, Craving Carats paid $48.60 to win.

CRAVING CARATS - 1st Career Win for Jockey Katelin Willey - 08-28-15 - R02 - CBY - 005

FRIDAY NOTES:

It did not take Hall of Fame jockey Scott Stevens long to make his presence felt after arriving this week, although it came at Willey’s expense in the fourth race.

Willey was attempt to win two straight, riding Gracie Jean in the fourth, but got outdueled by Stevens and Right To Glory in the stretch drive. Stevens, a tremendous finisher, got his horse to outbattle Gracie Jean and win by a head.

The finals of today’s Indian Relay Races will accompany the track’s richest race of the season, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, which has attracted a solid field of seven.

THIS WINNING THING IS SOMETIMES ALL WET

 

Katelin Willey

Katelin Willey could not suppress the grin that was spreading across her face Friday night so she did the next best thing. She covered her mouth with a hand for an instant, hoping the joy might subside, at least momentarily.

It did not.

That’s the way it is for someone like Katelin, who has wanted and waited for this moment nearly six months, the first win of her career as a jockey.

She took a front-running path to victory aboard a 5-year-old named Craving Carats, trained by Carl O’Callaghan in the second race.

Willey,22,  was absolutely bubbling, and everyone who knows her was happy for her, too. At 4-11 and 100 pounds and with a persistent glow of happiness about her, who could not wish the best for this apprentice rider, who began her career in February at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.

Her fellow riders were waiting for her with buckets of ice, water and just about anything else they could come up with to give her the traditional dousing that accompanies a rider’s first win. Oh, yeah, and the baby powder was added once a sufficient dousing had occurred, assuring that the power would stick like like glue.

“I figured there’d be water,” she said, her pants and silks soaked to the skin. “But I didn’t figure on mayonnaise and soup. This smells absolutely gross.”

One by one her colleagues congratulated her, shaking her hand, yelling to her and giving her the thumbs up. Israel Hernandez, headed out for the third race, wanted to give her a hug but, in view of her state at the time, settled for a handshake. “But I’m so sexy,” Willey responded.

 

 

Willey had four mounts in Phoenix before heading to Shakopee and  came up with maiden win on the 21st mount of her young career, riding Craving Carats to his second win of the season.

“I figured he should go out front like that, especially with the five pounds we got (Willey’s apprentice allowance),” said the winning trainer. “She’s a good kid. I’m glad to see her win it.”

Willey left her home in Washington with recommendation from a friend to trainer Valorie Lund, for whom she caught on working horses. It was a steady path to her career goal.

Meanwhile, was happy to break her maiden in Shakopee as opposed to Phoenix.

“They said they were going to shave my eyebrows off if I had won down there,” she said.

By the way, Craving Carats paid $48.60 to win.

CRAVING CARATS - 1st Career Win for Jockey Katelin Willey - 08-28-15 - R02 - CBY - 005

FRIDAY NOTES:

It did not take Hall of Fame jockey Scott Stevens long to make his presence felt after arriving this week, although it came at Willey’s expense in the fourth race.

Willey was attempt to win two straight, riding Gracie Jean in the fourth, but got outdueled by Stevens and Right To Glory in the stretch drive. Stevens, a tremendous finisher, got his horse to outbattle Gracie Jean and win by a head.

The finals of today’s Indian Relay Races will accompany the track’s richest race of the season, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby, which has attracted a solid field of seven.

Carl O’Callaghan

Carl O' Callahan

By Kristin Bechthold

Carl O’Callaghan is perhaps one of Canterbury’s most well-traveled trainers, having been born and raised in West Clare, Ireland. He moved to the United States when he was just fourteen years old in 1990 to pursue his dreams in the horse industry. He started in New York and made his way to California, where he trained at multiple tracks, including: Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, and Del Mar. He has also trained internationally, including England and the United Arab Emirates.

His official start as a trainer was in 2009, and he now trains 20 horses at Canterbury. He also trains in Arizona, which he considers home. He can be found in the stable area with his trusty goat companion, Ruben José Seamus O’Callaghan.

There is no doubt the highlight of O’Callaghan’s career so far has been the win of the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2010 with his horse Kinsale King. The Golden Shaheen has a purse of $2 million and is included in the Dubai World Cup Night. Kinsale King currently resides with O’Callaghan as a stable pony here at Canterbury. In 2013, O’Callaghan wrote a children’s book about him and Kinsale King called “Wish’s Derby.” All the proceeds of the book are donated to Wish Upon a Teen, a non-profit organization that helps teenagers with severe medical conditions and learning disabilities.

 

 

Outside of horses and racing, O’Callaghan’s passion is music. He writes music, plays guitar, and sings. In fact, if he wasn’t a horse trainer, he would like to be an entertainer in Nashville, though he has a side gig of being a singer for weddings and other events. His favorite genre of music is country and his favorite artists include older country artists such as George Strait.

At the end of the day, O’Callaghan’s passion for the horses and for the competition of racing is what keeps him in the game. “I love competing because I’m a very competitive person,” O’Callaghan said. “I just love what I do. I love the animals and I love getting up and going to work every day. There’s no place I’d rather be.”

Carl O’Callaghan

Carl O' Callahan

By Kristin Bechthold

Carl O’Callaghan is perhaps one of Canterbury’s most well-traveled trainers, having been born and raised in West Clare, Ireland. He moved to the United States when he was just fourteen years old in 1990 to pursue his dreams in the horse industry. He started in New York and made his way to California, where he trained at multiple tracks, including: Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, and Del Mar. He has also trained internationally, including England and the United Arab Emirates.

His official start as a trainer was in 2009, and he now trains 20 horses at Canterbury. He also trains in Arizona, which he considers home. He can be found in the stable area with his trusty goat companion, Ruben José Seamus O’Callaghan.

There is no doubt the highlight of O’Callaghan’s career so far has been the win of the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2010 with his horse Kinsale King. The Golden Shaheen has a purse of $2 million and is included in the Dubai World Cup Night. Kinsale King currently resides with O’Callaghan as a stable pony here at Canterbury. In 2013, O’Callaghan wrote a children’s book about him and Kinsale King called “Wish’s Derby.” All the proceeds of the book are donated to Wish Upon a Teen, a non-profit organization that helps teenagers with severe medical conditions and learning disabilities.

 

 

Outside of horses and racing, O’Callaghan’s passion is music. He writes music, plays guitar, and sings. In fact, if he wasn’t a horse trainer, he would like to be an entertainer in Nashville, though he has a side gig of being a singer for weddings and other events. His favorite genre of music is country and his favorite artists include older country artists such as George Strait.

At the end of the day, O’Callaghan’s passion for the horses and for the competition of racing is what keeps him in the game. “I love competing because I’m a very competitive person,” O’Callaghan said. “I just love what I do. I love the animals and I love getting up and going to work every day. There’s no place I’d rather be.”