01/05/2018 1:16PM

2017 Eclipse Awards: Katie Clawson


Katie Clawson rode just eight months last year, but made her mark on racing. She was the second-leading apprentice in North America with 82 wins, and her $1,859,444 in mount earnings ranked third among her peers. For the memorable season, Clawson is an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice of 2017.

Clawson is a 20-year-old native of Arizona who grew up in Indiana. She wintered last year at Oaklawn Park, where she ranked as the meet’s leading apprentice, and then made a splash at Indiana Grand.

“I made the choice of where to go for the summer based on where I thought I could be top five in the standings,” she told Daily Racing Form. “Obviously, I know people here. Being close to home, it seemed like a great place to spend my summer.”

During the meet, Clawson celebrated a four-win day Aug. 15 and rode Lady Fog Horn, an Indiana-bred earner of more than $800,000. She also led the overall standings at the track until being sidelined by a concussion. Not long afterward, Clawson made the decision to return to working as an exercise rider.

“The concussion made it more immediate, but this has been a plan of mine for a while, that at the end of the Indiana meet or the end of this year I was going to go back to galloping and stop riding races,” Clawson told DRF. “I decided what I wanted to do on the racetrack and what makes me happy. I’ve prayed about this a lot, talked to a lot of people, and gotten advice from the people I trust. It’s not a letdown or a disappointment for me.”

Nor was Clawson’s time in the saddle in 2017.