AUBURN, Washington – Barbadian Rocco Bowen has credited his attention to detail and planning, as the key to his historic third consecutive jockeys title at Emerald Downs nine days ago.
The 29-year-old racked up 109 wins from 467 rides to finish 38 clear of closest challenger Kevin Orozco, with Julien Couton ending third on 68 wins.
Bowen said it was his meticulous studying of horses, jockeys and races that had resulted in his unprecedented success at the Pacific Northwest oval.
“I do lots of homework. I watch lots of replays. I do homework every single day,” Bowen told CMC Sports.
“I know every single horse, I know every rider in the jocks room I ride with, I know what they’re going to do before they do it. I spend no less than three to four hours doing homework daily. It’s online and I have numerous homework sites, I have numerous replay sites.
“As I said, I have the best agent in the northwest but he does his part and I do my part. I study something called the Brisnet, it’s another step up … and my boss Tom Wentzel taught me to read those four years ago and you will see that’s when my career took off.”
He continued: “That’s when I started doing a lot of homework and watching a lot of replays. That’s the key right there: knowing all the horses on the grounds and knowing every rider – what move he’s going to make before he makes it.”
Bowen signalled at what was to come when he clinched the 2015/16 Portland Meadows title before producing an astonishing performance in 2016 to win his first-ever Emerald Downs crown with 110 wins – 40 clear of the field.
He has since proven his quality by going on to win two more titles at Emerald Downs by blowouts and said his latest triumph had brought him plenty of satisfaction, especially since he had also created history.
“It feels magnificent. It’s never been done before. Seven years ago when I moved here I didn’t even know if I could win one or two races,” he explained.
“I was the only coloured jockey here but that never stopped me. I have the best agent in the [Pacific] Northwest and I have a lot of important people behind me who believe in my talents like my boss Tom Wenzel, and other trainers like Charlie Essex and Chris Stenslie.
“It was a long road ahead of me [when I first arrived] but I got it done three years in a row which no one has ever done.”
Despite etching his name in the record books, Bowen says his maiden win at Portland Meadows remained perhaps the most treasured title.
“The first one I won in Portland Meadows in 2015 [remains special]. I was the only rider besides Gary Stevens that won both titles – in northwest Portland and then the Emerald Downs title, and that one was the most satisfying because it was my first,” he pointed out.
“You never forget your first title, you never forget that feeling so that one probably brought the most satisfaction. [The last one] was a pretty good feeling because I broke the record but winning that title at Portland Meadows for the first time, that was the one meant the most to me.
“You only get that feeling one time and that’s the first time. On Sunday [nine days ago] when I was the first one to win three times, that was also a different feeling.”