Shawn Spikes guiding Game Seeker to the finish line

Shawn Spikes guiding Game Seeker to the finish line

Vassar Phot

Spikes Rides First Winner at Golden Gate

San Francisco native will turn 20 years old March 15.

Jockey Shawn Spikes won the first race of his career March 13, when he guided Game Seeker to victory in the first race of the day at Golden Gate Fields.

Spikes and Game Seeker raced in second, well behind longshot pacesetter Dreamsrmadeof in the first half of the one-mile $12,500 maiden claiming event for fillies and mares. They steadily gained on the leader inside the half-mile pole, claimed the top spot turning for home, and staved off a late bid from Shandong Dj Dragon to prevail by a length for owner and trainer Ron White.

"It's something you have to experience (yourself) to get the feeling of it," Spikes said. "Coming down the lane in front and holding it to the wire was amazing."

Spikes is a native of San Francisco who frequently attended the races at Golden Gate and Bay Meadows during his childhood. He will celebrate his 20th birthday March 15.

"I've been coming to the racetrack since I was 3, 4 years old, with my grandparents, my mom (and) my auntie," he said. "I was going as a kid, watching the races. It was fascinating to me. The more I went, the more I wanted to ride. Once I turned 15, I went to the ranch with (trainers) Tirso Rivera and Frank Lucarelli. I was jumping horses with (riding instructor) Marguerite Barrier. The work paid off. I feel accomplished because I didn't grow up on a ranch. It's an amazing feeling to have accomplished something like this."