10/01/2002 11:00PM

Walcott, Welch fight for top rider

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Quincy Welch and Rickey Walcott have been battling all summer at the top of the Northlands Park jockey standings. And with only two weeks to go in the 2002 meet, the two are separated by a mere two wins.

Welch went into the weekend leading the standings with 67 wins in 393 starts, while accumulating $970,947 in purse winnings.

Walcott had 65 wins in 417 mounts and, like Welch, was pushing the $1 million mark in purse money won, with slightly more than $900,000.

In third was Anderson Trotman, who has gradually established himself as a top-level rider. Trotman, Walcott, and Welch are all natives of Barbados.

When the season ends in Alberta, Trotman and Walcott will return to ride in Barbados, while Welch is considering heading west, to Hastings Park in Vancouver, for the conclusion of the meet there.

In the trainer standings, Ron K. (Red) Smith will again lead the way when the meet comes to a close.

Despite the fact that his best horse, Fancy As, has been sidelined for the year, Smith has continued to pile up wins; he had 33 wins in 147 starts after last weekend.

That put Smith nine wins ahead of his nearest rival, Dale Saunders, who had 24 wins on the year.

Trainer Ron Grieves also is having a fine year with 21 wins, despite having the fewest number of starts among trainers in the top four. Grieves has been without the star of his stable, Code Name Fred, who took the year off to get healthy and should return next season.

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