KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jockey Trevor “Slicer” Simpson further etched his name as one of the best in the saddle at Caymanas Park when he reached the milestone of 1,500 career wins.
A 10-out-of-10 ride from Simpson aboard the Keffin Murray-conditioned Soul Amia in the eighth race, a native-bred five-year-old and upwards (non-winners of three) coming down the five straight course (1,000m), brought up the personal landmark achievement for the former five-time champion jockey.
Simpson brought his mount into play with a telling run towards the end of the race to beat Silver Fox (Andre Powell) and Ruds D Indian (Christopher Mamdeen) by a head in a blanket finish. Soul Amia ran the distance in a time of 1:02.0.
Only the legendary Winston “Fanna” Griffiths, with 1,663 winners, has ridden more winners than Simpson in the history of local thoroughbred racing.
“I am feeling really good knowing that I have ridden 1,500 winners here at Caymanas Park. It’s a lot of winners, and I am grateful for everything, as for a jockey to ride so many winners, it is a great accomplishment,” Simpson said in his post-race interview.
“Reaching that landmark of 1,500 career winners wasn’t possible without help from owners, trainers, grooms, other jockeys, family, friends, and racing fans. I could not have done it without the support and guidance of others, and I really thank them,” he added.
Murray commented on Simpson’s success in the saddle.
“I am very happy to be a part of it. Trust me, to just train the winner that he got his milestone on, I am very happy. He is a very good rider, and he rode according to instructions. Trevor Simpson has been the master for a lot of years, and we are very grateful to have worked with him,” Murray said.
Simpson started his career in 1986 and won his first race aboard Sweet Explosion for trainer Allan “Billy” Williams. He started riding on the international riding circuit in 1993, and has won 503 races overseas. Simpson does his riding in Canada at racetracks such as Lethbridge, Alberta, where the Rocky Mountain Turf Club is situated, Assiniboia Downs, and Century Mile.
Simpson also holds the distinction of riding the most winners in a single racing year in Jamaica - 172 wins in 2002. He was invested with the Order of Distinction in 2004.
“In this profession, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reap success in the business. Success only comes with hard work, and over the years, that is what I have been doing, putting in all the necessary work.
“Over the years I have ridden some very good horses, and I can’t really pinpoint who is the best of all. Khadullah was a very nice horse I have ridden. There were some very special moments for me in the saddle as well as the fact that I can’t complain, but my career was a very successful one and one that I am very proud of,” he said.
While he has not ridden a Jamaica Derby during his career, Simpson said that he is grateful for what he has accomplished in his 37 years in the saddle.
“I have ridden a Derby winner before, and that was in Canada but not in Jamaica. I have ridden in the Derby races but did not win that race. I don’t feel anyway but when it comes, it comes. I can’t say when I will put up the boots or the whip, but as long as I am healthy, fit, injury-free, and strong, I will continue to ride until that day comes,” the 54-year-old Simpson said.