Kazushi Kimura, Woodbine’s 2022 leading jockey. (Michael Burns Photo)
Chris Lomon/Woodbine Communications
TORONTO, Ont. – Kazushi Kimura earned his second consecutive Woodbine jockey crown with 152 wins at the meet, while his mounts earned $8.9 million (CDN).
Born in Hokkaido, Kimura joined the Woodbine jockey colony as a 19-year-old apprentice in 2018 and made a strong first impression. He finished his first Woodbine campaign sixth in the standings with 89 wins and his mounts totalled more than $2.3 million in earnings. His first victory came aboard 70-1 longshot Tornado Cat, and his first stakes win came aboard Speedy Soul in the Muskoka. The Eclipse Award winner as North America’s outstanding apprentice, Kimura also won the Sovereign Award equivalent in both 2018 and 2019. He won the 2021 Sovereign as Canada’s outstanding rider.
This year, Kimura won 15 stakes, six of them graded, at the Toronto oval, including the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor with Rougir (FR), the Grade 2 King Edward aboard Filo Di Arianna (BRZ), the Grade 3 Dominion Day with Frosted Over, and the Cup and Saucer with Philip My Dear.
Rafael Hernandez, who finished second with 122 wins, led the way with 17 stakes victories, including the Queen’s Plate (now known as the King’s Plate) with Kevin Attard trainee Moira.
Mark Casse topped the trainer leaderboard for the 14th time courtesy of 119 wins and $9.9 million (CDN) in purse earnings.
Casse recorded 22 Woodbine stakes victories, 13 of them graded. A lifetime winner of over 3,400 races, the dual Hall of Fame inductee took the Breeders’ Stakes, third jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown Series, with Sir for Sure. His graded scores included the Grade 2 King Edward and Connaught Cup with Filo Di Arianna (BRZ), and three with Who’s the Star (Grade 2 Autumn, Grade 3 Valedictory, Grade 3 Durham Cup), who also won the Niagara.
Al and Bill Ulwelling were the leading money-winning owner of the meet for the first time with $1.6 million (CDN) in purses. Bruno Schickedanz led all owners with 45 wins.
Epilogue and Who’s the Star led all horses with five wins each at the meet.
Live Thoroughbred racing will return to Woodbine next spring. Visit woodbine.com throughout the winter for news, notes, features, and other coverage of Woodbine-based horse people.