06/29/2011 5:25PM

Louisiana Downs: Walker returning


Jockey Bobby Walker Jr. will be based at Louisiana Downs for the first time in more than a decade later this month, when he moves his tack to the track following the close of the Lone Star Park meet July 10. Walker had annually been one of the top riders in Bossier City, La.

“I won my first career race at Louisiana Downs, and my 2,000th win was at Louisiana Downs,” he said. “I grew up about 85 miles down the road from there, in West Monroe.”

Walker, 50, recently resumed riding after sustaining a broken ankle in a morning training accident right before the Lone Star meet opened in April. The injury, coupled with a shorter meet earlier this year at his winter base of Sam Houston, has led to Walker having just 58 mounts so far in 2011. By comparison, Walker had 326 mounts in 2010, while riding at Sam Houston, Lone Star and Remington Park, which will open Aug. 18.

“This year I’ve only ridden about eight weeks,” he said. “I’m just now getting fit from getting back up, and I don’t want to wait five or six weeks to ride [at Remington]. I’d just like to ride on a consistent basis without so much time off. It doesn’t mean I’m ruling out Remington later in the fall, but right now I want to see what kind of business we get.”

Wendy Smith will be Walker’s agent at Louisiana Downs. Walker’s first win came in 1979, and through Wednesday he had won 2,919 races.