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Husbands seals first title

October 28, 2021

Heavy rainfall brought an anticlimactic end to the Fort Erie season in Canada on Tuesday, as runaway leader Barbadian Chris Husbands wrapped up his first jockeys’ title at the southern Ontario oval.

Entering the day already assured of the riders crown, the inclement weather prevented him from extending this tally of 52, allowing only four races on the ten-race programme as conditions deteriorated significantly.

Organisers cited safety of horses and riders as for the decision to scrap the remainder of the card.

“Unfortunately, due to the continuous rainfall throughout the day we could not carry out the remainder of the card,” said Fort Erie general manager, Drew Cady.

“Despite our shortened card today, we still had a tremendous season, one in which we were able to welcome back fans who missed out on the 2020 racing season due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

The 31-year-old Husbands finished with a win rate of 25 per cent from 207 mounts and winnings of CAN$616 873, well clear of fellow Barbadian and defending champion Juan Crawford who ended on 34.

Jamaican Kirk Johnson was third on 28 with Guyana-born Sunny Singh fifth on 23, while another Jamaican MarkLee Buchanan ended down the field with 19 wins.

Barbadian jockey Chris Husbands.

Husbands, who arrived there in 2015 from riding in Winnipeg, said the season had been a pleasing one.

“I had a really good start and I just continued on that momentum. I was blessed to ride good horses. The owners and trainers gave me good horses, which I really appreciated,” he said.

“Thanks to all the owners and trainers who gave me a shot and the opportunity.”

Johnson, who won twice on Monday’s card, appeared set to extend his run of form before bad weather forced the abandonment.

He captured race two over 5-½ furlongs with Out Atthe Speedway, stalking pacesetter Easy Access from third before taking command in the stretch to beat the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by 1-½ lengths.

Crawford had raised the curtain on the day with 6-1 bet Allaboutthedrama, steering the three-year-old bay filly to a 1-½ length score over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares.

There were 39 race days at Fort Erie after the season got going on June 15 and organisers have already applied for a 40-season to be staged next year, running from May 31 to October 19.

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