Canadian Ramsammy Sees Golden Chance

Two-time Sovereign Award-winning jockey Emile Ramsammy will return to California and ride during the upcoming Santa Anita season. The Caribbean jockey, who celebrated his 41st birthday Thursday, rode in California for three years from 1998 to 2000 before returning to Canada, where he was leading rider at Woodbine in 1996 and 1997.

"I'm looking forward to going back to sunny California," said Ramsammy, a native of Trinibad, West Indies. "It's about zero degrees (in Toronto) today."

Ramsammy most recently finished third in the Woodbine jockey standings with 123 victories and after being sidelined for more than a month following two nasty spills at the Canadian oval. He won the 1995 Queen's Plate aboard Victor Cooley.

"I had a good year, but lost some business because of (the spills)," Ramsammy said. "Now's a good time to go back to California. It seems pretty open there with all the recent retirements of McCarron, Delahoussay and Pincay. If things go well enough, I'll make it permanent. I had a good time when I was there three years ago and was a leading rider at Hollywood right before I left, so anything is possible."

Former trainer Susan McBrayer will represent Ramsammy.

"He's a great rider,"McBrayer said. "Coming back here to ride is a great opportunity."

Currently Ramsammy ranks among the top 25 riders in North America with more than $7.1 million in earnings this year.

His best year in California was 1998, when he recorded 68 wins, including seven stakes victories, and earnings of $2.6 million. He suffered a severe shoulder injury in a spill at Woodbine the following year.

Since collecting his first win in 1980 while on the Caribbean circuit, Ramsammy has amassed career purse earnings of about $47 million.