07/03/2013 2:44PM

Lone Star Park notes: Wade enjoys resurgence, on verge of winning title

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Jockey Lindey Wade, who is likely to win his first Lone Star Park title on Saturday, calls the meet a “revival” for him.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Jockey Lindey Wade has an understanding of racing that belies his young age of 22. As the son of two jockeys who has already made a comeback from devastating injuries sustained in a 2007 spill, he has an intimate knowledge of the ups and downs of the sport. So when Wade, who is likely to win his first Lone Star Park title on Saturday, calls his meet a “revival,” the sentiment flows from a deep place.

Wade has had a season to remember. Heading into Wednesday night’s card he had an eight-win advantage in the standings, with 50 wins from 252 starters this meet at Lone Star. His mounts have earned $625,575, a sharp contrast from the quiet Oaklawn Park season he had, when he went 7 for 112 for mount earnings of $214,360.

“I didn’t have such a great meet in Hot Springs this past year,” Wade said. “It wasn’t as good of a spring as I thought I’d have. I was down on myself, but things have gone in a completely different direction since Oaklawn. This meet has been huge. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s really shown me about the peaks and valleys of this game. It’s revived me after my spring.”

Wade said an alliance with Allen Milligan, the leading trainer at Lone Star, has been a driving force behind his meet. The pair teamed up with a handful of starters late last year in Grand Prairie, and after quick success together, Wade said he began riding for Milligan on a regular basis last fall at Remington Park. Milligan had a six-win lead in the Lone Star standings heading into the card Wednesday.

“His horses have been running phenomenal this meet,” Wade said. “It’s like everything he leads over there has got a big shot.”

Wade and Milligan will team together in the third and sixth races Friday night at Lone Star. For the closing card Saturday, Wade has the mount on the Milligan-trained Time Iz Flying in the $100,000 colts and geldings division of the Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity.

Wade is a New Orleans native who grew up right outside the gates of Louisiana Downs near Shreveport. His mother, Rita Wade, and his father, Scottie Schello, both were jockeys. Wade was galloping horses as a teenager, and at 16 made the decision to leave high school to focus on a riding career, promising his mother he would finish his education.

“I wanted to get in the routine of riding when I was young,” he said.

Wade won his first race at Louisiana Downs, on May 17, 2007. He then made his way to Hawthorne in Chicago, where on Nov. 30, 2007, he went down in a spill that left him with head trauma, a collapsed lung, and a broken jaw. Wade was back in the saddle by April 2008, and the following year celebrated a career high when he won three stakes on a single card at Hawthorne, collecting some $300,000 in mount earnings that afternoon with Home’s the Best, Nicks, and Agnostic.

“I was on cloud nine that day,” Wade said.

He later moved his tack to Texas, and in 2011 captured the riding title at Sam Houston. Wade liked the region, and has since bought a house in Oklahoma City, near Remington Park. He will ride there following Lone Star, taking a short vacation between meets and fulfilling a few stakes engagements at Arapahoe Park and Fair Meadows in Tulsa. Until then, Wade will keep savoring his Lone Star meet. He also said he’s proud of the fact that late last month he fulfilled his promise to his mother, passing his high school equivalency exams to earn his GED.

“I’m so happy,” Wade said. “I’m already tickled with the season I’m having, then to go and finish my school, that’s been like icing on the cake.”

◗ Gold Element, winner of the $50,000 Spirit of Texas at Sam Houston in his last start Jan. 19, makes his comeback in Friday night’s fourth race, a $40,000 optional claimer. Also on the card, Satin Gold, a promising 3-year-old by English Channel, seeks her second straight allowance win in a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

◗ Lone Star surpassed $1 million in claims for the meet last week. There have been a total of 118 made through 46 days of racing last Saturday. The transactions have reached $1,036,750.

◗ Matt Crawford, a former trainer and the assistant racing secretary for both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets at Lone Star, has been named racing secretary at Hialeah. Crawford, 56, will oversee the Florida track’s Quarter Horse meet that opens Nov. 29.

◗ Pat Green will perform in concert following the races Friday.