Toronto, ON --- It was a milestone Monday night for driver Jason ‘Ricky Bobby’ Ryan, who saved his best for last when taking the final dash on the Woodbine card.
|New Image Media photo|
|Jason Ryan earned his first WEG win behind P L Cammander.|
The 24-year-old gave P L Cammander a perfect, second-over trip before showing the son of Camluck clear racetrack at the top of the stretch to score a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.3 for owner/trainer Rhandy Patton.
Although the toteboard showed $19.20 for the win, Ryan admitted he wasn’t surprised by his horse’s effort.
“He closed very well the week before and I thought that if I put him in the right position he would give the same type of effort as last week. It’s always a good feeling winning a race and returning to the winner’s circle and it’s certainly nice to get my first win at Woodbine.”
A native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Ryan learned his early horsemanship lessons from high-profile conditioner Kenny Arsenault.
“My step-father, Maurice, owned horses with Kenny and that’s initially how I got into racing,” said Ryan, who sports the trainer's green and white silks.
“I started working for Kenny during Grade 8 on weekends and race nights and by the time I was in high school, I was in the barn more than I was in school,” Ryan said with a laugh. “I grew up just down the road from the track where Kenny was stabled in Charlottetown and that’s how I got hooked. My family and I have been close with him ever since.”
Ryan, who operates a six-horse stable, first ventured to Ontario when he was 19, finding work with fellow driver/trainer Anthony MacDonald.
“I came to work for Anthony when he had a stable and I asked him when he wanted me to start and he kept forgetting my name," recalled Ryan. "Then he gave me the nickname Ricky Bobby from the movie 'Talladega Nights' because I have two first names."
Ryan resides in Barrie with his girlfriend Danielle and their one-year-old daughter Abby.
Live racing resumes Thursday at 7:25 p.m., while Ryan gets another shot at a WEG win on Friday’s card with a first race post time also scheduled for 7:25 p.m.