KAZUSHI KIMURA posted career-best numbers in 2022 at Woodbine racetrack and was announced as the year’s leading rider on Sunday, December 4. Mark Casse was also announced as the meet’s leading trainer.

The leading owner’s race by purse earnings is still up for grabs with Al and Bill Ulwelling holding a slight lead with $1,203,468 in purses, just ahead of Bruno Schickedanz, the leading owner by wins, who has $1,168,148 in earnings. Gary Barber is third at $1,008,788.

There are four racing days remaining in the meeting but both Kimura and Casse are far in front of their rivals. In addition, Kimura will not ride the last four cards as he prepares to head to Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California to ride that tough circuit beginning Dec. 26.

Kimura, 23, has never ridden at Santa Anita and he will join a solid colony for the 2022/23 meeting including John Velasquez, Frankie Dettori, Flavian Prat and year-round California riders Mike Smith, Juan Hernandez and others.

Kimura ends the Woodbine meeting with 152 wins, his best total since he won 146 races in 2019 as an apprentice. He has won three Sovereign Awards including the 2021 Outstanding Jockey and he was named the 2019 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice. Kimura, who was born in Japan, missed some time this year but still got clear by wins ahead of Rafael Hernandez.

The Casse stable currently has 113 winners at Woodbine, its second-highest total at the Toronto track next to the 119 winners it sent out in 2011. Kevin Attard has 87 wins and Martin Drexler has 68.


Woodbine 2022 – Leading Riders (through Dec. 4)

1 Kazushi Kimura 755 152 124 127 $6,786,062 20%
2 Rafael  Hernandez 658 121 91 75 $5,968,840 18%
3 Justin Stein     605 83 78 86 $3,779,570 14%
4 Emma-Jayne Wilson 568 77 80 68 $3,658,181 14%
5 Luis Contreras 541 66 72 68 $3,169,472 12%