The race for last year’s top apprentice Sovereign Award wasn’t much of a race at all, thanks to Williams, who won 100 races.
Big success, however, doesn’t come with a big ego.
“I really don’t like to talk about myself or any accomplishments,” said Williams, on the phone from Vancouver. “I’m someone who just likes to go with the flow. Sometimes, I think that if I talk about myself, or a winning ride, I’ll end up jinxing myself. I work hard in the mornings and hope that pays off in the afternoons.”
Williams certainly has the DNA to be a rider.
His father, Danny Williams, was the leading apprentice at Vancouver’s Hastings Park in 1978. He was a jockey’s agent at Woodbine for top riders such as Jim McAleney from 2000 until 2011.
Ronnie Williams, Scott’s grandfather, also had success riding in Vancouver and was inducted into the B.C. Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1989. He died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 32.
A product of the Olds College in Alberta, Scott burst onto the racing scene in 2010, winning 15 races from 49 mounts at Grande Prairie and 29 races from 96 rides at Northlands Park in Edmonton. After the meet ended, he took his talents to Ontario, recording six victories at Woodbine and five more at Fort Erie.
The Vancouver native had a solid 2011 campaign, winning 39 races from 211 starts. At season’s end, he was named a finalist for the top apprentice Sovereign, finishing second, 28 votes behind winner Ryan Pacheco.
Last year, though, Williams left no doubt who would take the honour. He was second in the Northlands standings, finishing just three wins shy of 100, while topping the $1-million mark in purse earnings.
“I view every day I ride as an opportunity to learn more, to be a better rider,” said Williams, who engineered four winners on the eight-dash opening day card at Northlands in 2011, including the first three races of the night. “I love to win. The feeling of crossing that line first – I could never find anything to match that. Sometimes you win easily and sometimes you are in a tight spot and find a way to get it done. Regardless of how you do it, winning is an amazing feeling.”
It’s a feeling he is happy to share.
“It’s not just you who gets to celebrate,” offered Williams. “The grooms, they are the hardest working ones of all. I’ve been there myself. It’s a tough job. But to see the looks on everyone’s faces when you come back after a win, that’s something you never get enough of.”
Just 23-years-old, Williams has plenty more wins ahead and plenty of people in his corner. He plans to move his tack to Hastings Park for 2013.
And there is one group in particular he knows will serve him best in his ongoing racing education.
“Horses, they are my teachers,” said Williams, who has 175 career wins heading into the 2013 racing season. “There is so much I can learn from them.”
Top horses ridden: Pumpkin Hollow, Up Jumps a Monster, Hollywood Dreams