Training is hard work – conditioner Jason DaCosta

Horse Racing

Training is hard work – conditioner Jason DaCosta

Observer writer

Friday, November 22, 2019

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Trainer Jason DaCosta, whose father, Wayne DaCosta is the 18-time champion trainer, was recently honoured for his contribution to horse racing as a trainer who plies his trade in the United States, at an awards dinner, which was held on Thursday, November 7, at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

Jason DaCosta on the day when he was honoured had a racing record of 1,922 starts, 315 wins, 285 second-place finishes and 251 third-place finishes for earnings of US$5,139, 999.

The Supreme Racing Guide spoke with Jason, who shared his experience as a conditioner.



SRG: What is your background?

JD: I started out in racing with my dad as a kid coming to the track on weekends. While going to school, I also did a couple of summers with him and after I left high school, I wanted to go straight to the track with him but he and my mother said no. “You have to finish college first,” they demanded. That advice was heeded and I went off to college. I did two years and came to the track and did five years of apprenticeship under his tutelage. I then went overseas and got my certification to become a licenced trainer at Calder in Miami as I was denied acceptance in the local programme.

SRG: What were your early days at the track in Jamaica like?

JD: It was really just fun for me. I was young, just learning everything I could from my dad and enjoying all in racing.

SRG: When did you leave Jamaica?

JD: I left Jamaica in 2008 and started training in 2009.

SRG: Which horse was your first winner?

JD: My first winner was a filly by the name of Miss Aristocrat at Calder. She won first time out in a maiden event.

SRG: What type of “big” races have you won and speak about those wins.

JD: I've won a few stakes races — the biggest one that I have won was the Best of Ohio. It was a $US150,000 stakes event which was for the best Ohio bred horses. I won that race with a two-year-old by the name of Unbridled Trick. My first stakes winner was with Silver Cloud, he won the Summit of Speed contest at Calder. I also won a stakes race last year - the McDermott Stakes. Those are the biggest races that I have won so far.

SRG: Which is the best horse you have trained?

JD: I would say Silver Cloud, a turf specialist. He won a stakes race and has placed in a number of other stakes races. He (Silver Cloud) was probably the best horse I have trained in the US, where I currently reside and train.

SRG: Do you have any regrets leaving Jamaica?

JD: Do I have any regrets? Yes! I miss the warmth of my family, I miss the racing here but it was a good move for me as I have done pretty well so far. I have a nice string of horses and I am doing pretty good for myself.

SRG: What makes you special as a trainer?

JD: What makes me special training horses is hard work and enjoying the pleasure of getting a good working foundation from my dad.

SRG: What is your advice to young trainers?

JD: My advice to the young trainers entering the field is this — it is a tough business and you have to work hard if you want to get to the top of your game as it is what you put into it is what you will get out of it.

SRG: Your thoughts on being honoured at this special dinner?

JD: It was a good gesture which was enjoyed by us all. It was a fitting move to honour those jockeys and us trainers. The three prime honourees are household names in the annals of the Sport of Kings who have done their tour of duty. It is good and justly fitting to rekindle and revive those remarkable times for all to know and remember.

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