Ronald Ali -- 31, won the riding championship in Trinidad in 2016, and made his Assiniboia Downs debut in 2019, winning at a solid 14% clip and compiling win-place-show record of 17-11-24 from 121 mounts. Forced to miss the next two years at Assiniboia Downs due to pandemic restrictions, Ali continued to ply his trade successfully in Trinidad and Barbados as one of their top riders and was second in the standings before leaving to come to Assiniboia Downs for the 2022 season, where he compiled a record a record of 12-14-10 from 112 mounts.
Nyrone Austin – 29, cracked the top 10 at ASD for the second time in the past three seasons in 2022 and helped trainer Jennifer Jordan to a breakout year with 15 wins. Austin arrived at ASD in 2019, “to get some outside experience,” after eight years of riding in Barbados, where he was also in the top 10 at the highly competitive Garrison Savannah race track. His goal is to become the leading jockey at ASD, and he’s improved every year since arriving in Canada.
Prayven Badrie – 32, tied for the leading rider title at Assiniboia Downs in 2018 with Antonio Whitehall with 41 wins and has now developed into one of the top riders in Western Canada. Badrie originally arrived here in 2011 and won 26 races before returning home to Trinidad for five years, where he won the riding title in 2015 and numerous stakes including the 2016 Trinidad Derby. Riding full time at Century Mile in 2019, Badrie won 46 races and three stakes. The pandemic kept him at home for two years after that but he retruned to ASD in 2022, finishing fith in the standings and winning 26 races at a solid 15% clip.
Sven Balroop (A) – 24, arrived in Canada from Trinidad last year and compiled a record of 11-8-20 from 134 starts while riding at Century Mile in Alberta. The leading apprentice jockey at Santa Rosa Park in 2021, Balroop’s biggest win came in the Nursery Stakes. One of only two apprentices in the local jocks’ room this year, Balroop thanks veteran ASD rider Stanley Chadee, Jr. for getting him into horse racing, and he’s expected to attract considerable attention at ASD in his first year here.
Shavon Belle -- 29, first arrived at Assiniboia Downs as an apprentice from Barbados in 2015 and is a perfect example of what perseverance can do for a jockey. Riding for smaller stables early in his career, he gradually earned his way into the mainstream and had his best year ever in 2019 with 19 wins, while riding primarily for three-time leading trainer Jerry Gourneau. After a two-year pandemic absence, Belle returned to ASD in 2022 and continued where he left off, finishing in the top 10 with 18 wins. “I just like horses,” said Belle, “And winning.”
Arthur Budhu -- 36, got his start as a jockey with the late 12-time leading ASD trainer Ardell Sayler. From limited opportunities in 2018 and 2019, Budhu won seven races and finished in the money 17 times. The Jamaican jockey showed experience beyond his years despite not riding many horses, no doubt due to getting on numerous horses in the mornings for Sayler. He could be ready to make a big jump forward if he can secure the right kind of mounts.
Damario Bynoe -- 33, began his career as a jockey in Canada in 2014 at Northlands Park in Alberta. The former champion apprentice in Barbados has been plying his trade at Century Downs in Alberta for the past few years but decided to make the switch to Assiniboia Downs in 2023. The veteran rider has won 167 races since his arrival in Canada and should make an excellent addition to the ASD jockey colony.
Jorge Carreno, 39, has won back-to-back riding titles at ASD. He won the title in his first year here in 2021 with 80 victories, 31 more than his nearest rival. In 2022 he won 65 races at an amazing 32% clip. The native of Cocula, Guerrero, Mexico has won 1,674 races and over $18 million in purses during his career and has definitely been to the big leagues. Carreno cites his major career highlights as finishing a game second beaten only half a length in the 2017 Arkansas Derby (G1) aboard Conquest Mo Money, ahead of riding superstars Mike Smith, Javier Castellano and Kent Desormeaux, and winning the $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks aboard 80-1 shot Cleopatras Charge. Last year's Manitoba Derby-winning jockey spent this past winter riding at Sunray Park and the defending champ could prove very tough to beat.
Stanley Chadee, Jr., 32, finished fifth in the standings in 2022 with 20 wins and he'll be hoping to get back to his 2021 form, when he was the leading stakes-winning rider at ASD with an amazing 14 stakes wins aboard some of the top horses on the grounds including the undefeated Melisandre, Gold Cup winner Plentiful, Winnipeg Futurity winner Diamond Digger, and Canada Day Stakes winner Miss Imperial. Chadee won 49 races in total at Assiniboia Downs in 2021 to finish second in the standings for the second year in a row. Chadee had his breakout year in 2020 with 52 wins. He has now won 267 races and over $2.2 million in purses.
Chavion Chow – 36, won the leading rider title at Assiniboia Downs in 2015 with 63 wins. Third in the ASD standings last year with 39 victories, the Jamaican-born jockey first arrived at Assiniboia Downs as an apprentice in 2008 and has now won 308 races and over $2.8 million in purses. In his championship season, Chow showcased his talents by winning five races on a card early in the season including the Golden Stripe Stakes, with a variety of trips and riding styles. Chow can adapt to any pace scenario and has ridden some of the best horses at the Downs including multiple stakes winners Deep Explorer, Witt Six, Magic D’ Oro and 2022 Horse of the Year Itsthattime.
Renaldo Cumberbatch – 44, is perhaps the most underrated jockey in the history of Assiniboia Downs. More smooth than flashy, he’s been a top-5 rider at the Downs almost every season since he arrived in Canada in 2005. Second in the ASD standings in 2022 with 48 wins, he has now won 464 races and over $4.1 million in purses. He’s also ridden some of the best horses in Western Canada including Escape Clause, Hidden Grace, Sixthirtyjoe, Can’t Use Nellie, Aware and Hot Rodin. The soft-spoken jockey often goes off at overlay odds, and if a fellow rider makes a mistake on the favourite, he’ll beat them every time. Oh what the heck, he might just beat them regardless. Trainers like that. Fans like it more.
Dwight Lewis –47, made his debut at Assiniboia Downs in 2021 after a decade of riding in Lethbridge and Grand Prairie. He also rode at Century Mile in 2020. The Jamaican-born jockey won his first race at a recognized track in Barbados and shortly afterwards decided to come to Canada. A multiple stakes-winning jockey in Lethbridge, Lewis was persuaded to come to Assiniboia Downs by local groom Dwight Taylor and trainer Courtney Ross. “I'm a race rider,” said Lewis. “I'm a trying jockey.”
Neville Stephenson – 53, is a seasoned rider from Jamaica, having ridden for 22 years. He finished sixth in the local standings in his first season at Assiniboia Downs in 2020 with 25 wins and improved on that number in 2021 with 28 victories to finish fifth, and finished sixth in the standings in 2022 with 22 wins. The former three-time riding champ at Marquis Downs in Saskatchewan began his riding career in North America at Calder Race Course in 2005 and moved his tack to Canada in 2007. A winner of 536 races and over $2.7 million in purses, Stephenson came to Assiniboia Downs "for a new experience and challenge" and learned the local oval quickly. One of the hardest working jockeys you’ll ever meet.
Tim Tarasenco – 56, came out of retirement in 2022 after a 24-year absence from the local jocks’ room and rode five horses just to get a feel for the game again. He travelled south after last year’s ASD meeting and immediately won three races in South Dakota. The veteran rider started out at ASD in 1985 and won 268 races before retiring in 1998. He’s been working hard in the mornings in an effort to complete his comeback and get back in the winner’s circle.
Antonio Whitehall – 29, has won two riding titles at Assiniboia Downs, the first in 2018, when he tied with Prayven Badrie for top spot with 41 wins, and second in 2020 when he won 74 races to win the title outright. He also finished third among all jockeys in Canada in 2020 with 117 victories.Fourth in the ASD standings last year with 27 victories, Whitehall has been a force in the local jockey colony ever since he arrived from Barbados in 2016, winning 68 races during his first year in Canada. Whitehall has won 391 races and over $3.6 million in purses in Canada during his seven seasons here. Tough competition brings out the best in him.