Chantal Sutherland, arguably the No. 2 female jockey in history behind Julie Krone, made the right decision to move her business back to Woobine Park in Toronto at the end of Santa Anita. It might not be best for her love life, but she’s faring quite well in her professional life since the switch.
Sutherland, romantically involved with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, wanted so badly to make it on the Southland circuit this past year. She and Smith shared a home in Pasadena and their relationship was well-chronicled on the Animal Planet’s reality show entitled “Jockeys.” But Sutherland wasn’t happy with the amount of winners or mounts she was getting here in Southern California, so she decided to return to Canada, where she’s been very successful in the past. It’s not like she embarrassed herself at Santa Anita, however. She finished 11th in the standings with 18 victories while riding against the best jockeys in America. But she wanted more, and she’s getting it in Toronto.
Through Sunday’s races, Sutherland is second in the Woodbine rider standings behind Patrick Husbands, 60-41. She’s riding a great majority of the races, which is necessary if a jockey wants to make a name for themselves and grab some of the bigger mounts that she covets. She’d love to ride in Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup races.
Some other former Southland jockeys are also faring well since leaving the circuit and relocating to other parts of the country:
* Jon Court is eighth in the jockey standings at Churchill Downs with 16 victories.
* Saul Arias, known for his ability to boot home long shots at Santa Anita, is sixth at Emerald Downs (Seattle) with 15 wins. And he apparently hasn’t lost his knack with the boxcar horses, finishing second with 33-1 and 36-1 long shots on Sunday.
* Omar Figueroa is 10th in the standings at Golden Gate with 38 victories.
* Patrick Valenzuela has 16 wins at Louisiana Downs — good for third in the rider standings.
* Emile Ramsammy is riding with Sutherland at Woodbine and is third with 35 victories.
* Isaias Enriquez is riding at Sunray Park in New Mexico and is eighth in the standings with nine wins.