San Francisco Call

Vincent Powers' Great Riding Record

Jockey Vincent Powers, who has headed the American jockey list for three months and will figure in the history of American racing as the champion jockey of 1908, is a graduate of the Canadian racing circuit. His home is at Panama, a small village in the state of New York, not far from Buffalo, and his early instruction in the handling of thoroughbred racers was imparted to him by Trainer John Nixon of the Valley Farm stable, who took him at Fort Erie as an exercise boy. Powers is an exceedingly well behaved and scrupulously honest lad, of retiring habits and tastes, no matter how great his success. His career has not been that of a skyrocket, for he has worked his way steadily, overcoming every opposition and without any sensational periods to the position which he now holds at the head of the jockey list.

The great factor in his success has been his reliability and consistency, coupled with his remarkable gift of horsemanship. Powers has the faculty, possessed in a high degree also by Tod Sloan, though his is a much more admirable character than Sloan's, of getting more out of his mounts than other riders could. Over and over again be demonstrated that under his skillful handling horses would run faster and stay farther than for any other boy. Those that used to beaten at seven furlongs would stay a mile and win for him. He was alert at the post, but always so obedient that he was never in trouble for spoiling starts or disobedience of the starter's orders. During the running of a race, no matter how large the field or the natural eagerness of his competitors to best the star rider, it came to be looked an as a matter of course that Powers' horse always kept well to the front and in a good position to make the deciding run. Powers' wonderful ability as a hand rider has been in evidence in several races recently run at Santa Anita Park, where his mount, when tiring and almost falling in the stretch, was brought home a winner under his vigorous hand finish.

Powers started this season riding at New Orleans, where he met with considerable success, having 64 wins, 59 seconds and 56 thirds to his credit, earning for the different owners for whom he rode the sum of $35,334. At the Kentucky tracks, Churchill Downs, Lexington and Latonia, Powers' work in the saddle attracted the attention of the entire turf world. He rode 76 winners, 48 seconds and 38 thirds at these meetings, which represented to the owners for whom he rode the sum of $39,865. It was on the Canadian circuit where Powers began his real struggle for the leading jockey honors. The contest between Powers and Shilling on the circuit was so keen and close that it was one of the most striking features of the Canadian racing. Powers rode 22 winners at Windsor, 59 at Fort Erie, 16 at Montreal and six at Toronto. Since coming to coast, Powers, although at times he has found it difficult to make weight, has upheld his reputation for consistency.

Powers' work in the saddle during the season of 1907 was rather mediocre for out 461 mounts he only rode 50 winners and finished the season with a percentage of .ll, while last year he rode more than 300 winners.

Jockey Powers, it is said, may ride in England next season for L. de Rothschild, who, it is alleged, has offered him a retainer of $15,000 through August Belmont.

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