Jockey Lindey Wade Surging to the Wire at Sam Houston Race Park

Jockey Lindey Wade has shown his knack for well-timed rides and solid closing efforts throughout the 2018 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meeting.  With three days remaining, the 27-year-old is leading his fellow riders and hoping to pick up his second title at the northwest Houston racetrack.

From Louisiana to Illinois

Born in New Orleans, Wade began working American Quarter horses for Heath Taylor when he was in high school. He transitioned to Thoroughbreds and made his professional debut at Louisiana Down as a 16-year-old apprentice. He shipped his tack to Hawthorne Race Course and got off to a rousing start. However, a tragic event occurred on November 30, 2007.  His mount broke down and Wade was transported to Loyola Hospital in Maywood, Illinois, with a head injury. He was placed in an induced coma. With his family by his side and an outpouring of support from the Chicago racing community, Wade made a miraculous recovery.

It’s no surprise to those who know Wade that he was able to come back stronger than ever. He is well-liked by horsemen, his fellow riders and racing fans in Texas and Oklahoma, where he rides most of his time these days.  Since 2007, Wade has ridden over 8,200 horses, winning 1,082 races on mounts who have earned $20 million.

Strong Showing at Sam Houston Race Park

The meet began on Jan. 19 and Wade won two races on opening night and added two stakes wins on Jan. 27 when the track hosted Texas Champions Day. He piloted Mav Master to victory in the $50,000 Richard King for trainer Kari Craddock and scored aboard defending champion Zippit E in the $50,000 Yellow Rose Stakes for trainer Bret Calhoun on Jan. 27.  The next day was the Houston Ladies Classic card, and Wade teamed again with Calhoun for a resounding upset with Swift Shock in the $50,000 Groovy Stakes for Texas-bred 3-year-olds. Sent off at 44-1, Wade confidently guided the son of Golden Song from off the pace and powered home by a margin of 2 ½ lengths.

“I’m not sure you will ever see a Bret Calhoun trainee pay $90 ever again,” said Wade. “He closed so well for me that day; it was a great win!”

Wade has plenty of mounts this week and and will have the return call on Swift Shock in Saturday’s $65,000 Jim’s Orbit.

“I’ve known Lindey a long time,” said Calhoun. “He’s a great kid and has improved tremendously over the last few years. It’s neat to see him riding this year with so much confidence and taking it to another level.”

The stakes wins early in the Sam Houston meet were pivotal for Wade, whose business picked up considerably as the season progressed.

“Winning a couple of stakes early in the meet skyrocketed things for me,” admitted Wade. “It gave me a lot of confidence and momentum going forward.”

He has a solid relationship with his agent, Kevin Johnson, and gives a great deal of credit to trainer Mindy Willis, who is second in the Sam Houston standings behind nine-time leading conditioner, Steve Asmussen.

“Mindy’s had an extremely good year,” stated Wade. “She came to Houston with some nice horses and they have gotten better and better throughout the meet.”

Next Stop:  Lone Star at Grand Prairie

The Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meet wraps up on Saturday, March 17.  Wade currently has 46 wins, 13 more than Iram Diego, who has won the title for the last two years. It would be the second time Wade has clinched leading rider honors in Houston; in 2011, he finished in a tie with his good friend, Quincy Hamilton.

His next stop will be Lone Star Park where he was leading rider in 2013 and won his 1,000th career race last July aboard Firepit Queen, a 3-year-old filly trained by Joyce Salisbury.

“It was really neat,” acknowledged Wade. “Winning your first race is special, but to get 1,000 wins is a real accomplishment.”

But before heading north on I-45, Wade has another momentous occasion on the horizon. He and his girlfriend of six years, Bailey Ortiz, will tie the knot in April and journey to Santorini, Greece for their honeymoon.

“We both love to travel and that looks like a nice, romantic spot,” said Wade.

One of the most beautiful Greek islands, Santorini is known for its gorgeous beaches, clear blue water, steep cliffs and breath-taking sunsets.  Many tourists venture to the top of the island on a donkey, and Wade is considering that or a sunset cruise.

Martha Claussen has been prominent in the Texas and Louisiana racing industry since 1997 as a publicist, writer and handicapper.

The post Jockey Lindey Wade Surging to the Wire at Sam Houston Race Park appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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