Muir leads Nelson in stakes at Northlands
EDMONTON, Canada (CMC):
Young Jamaican jockey Shamaree Muir rode two winners on the nine-race card at Northlands Park on Friday evening and followed up with an unlucky second-place finish aboard Regal Max in Saturday's CDN$65,651 Birdcatcher Stakes.
Champion Rico Walcott, who won the event with 3-1 chance Shimshine, admitted Muir's mount had got into trouble, handing him the advantage to win his second added-money race in as many days.
Barbadian Walcott stalked with Shimshine throughout the six-and-a-half furlong trip before producing a strong stretch run to get the better of the two-year-old colts and geldings by two and a half lengths in a time of 1:20.78.
"I just wanted to keep him close. I was in a nice position and I got the jump on Shamaree," said Walcott, the six-time reigning champion.
"I saw he had to steady and I knew I was in pretty good shape after that."
Stripling Warrior and Star Czar duelled through the first quarter-mile in 23.22 seconds, with Regal Max in a striking position in third and Shimshine stalking towards the outside.
Walcott kicked on Shimshine at the quarter pole as Star Czar faded, taking on Stripling Warrior on the final turn.
Regal Max also made his move, but found the path partially blocked, allowing Walcott and Shimshine to pull away impressively and storm to the wire.
On Friday, Muir made his mark on the day's card when he landed a brace. In race five over six and a half furlongs, he used a front-running effort to get 9-1 bet Alphagate to a three and a quarter length win over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares.
He then returned in race seven over six furlongs to win with favourite Beardini, bringing the three-year-old filly from off the pace to beat the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by a half-length.
Muir has ridden 31 winners from 212 rides for the season, which started May 5 and ends September 16. He is fifth in the win standings and third in stakes, $484,486, behind runaway leader Walcott, who has ridden 83 winners with earnings of $962,184.
Muir's countryman Dane Nelson lies third in the win standings on 36, nine behind second-place Trinidadian, Keishan Balgobin. Nelson, however, is fourth behind third-place Muir in stakes earned, $472,038.