Apprentice rider Declan Carroll has got off to a good start since making his riding debut in late September and could not be any more excited to be spending what he hopes to be a successful winter the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La.
Carroll, 19, grew up in Louisville, Ky. and spent quite a bit of time on the backstretch of Churchill Downs. His father David was a trainer and now oversees trainer Mark Casse's string of horses at Fair Grounds.
“I'm looking forward to coming into the Fair Grounds meet,” Carroll said. “It's a very tough jockey colony and there are a couple of bug riders that I appreciate very much. One being Ezequiel (Lara), he's coming down in top form and he's a great rider I look up to as a bug. Edgar Morales is another I look forward to riding with. Now I just hope to come in, get lucky and learn a lot. It's going to be a big opportunity for me. I'm very excited to be here at the Fair Grounds, it's a great place to be and there are great trainers, owners and horses.”
So far Carroll has ridden three winners in 20 mounts, including two at Churchill Downs during their Fall Meet. He is anxious to ride more winners and hopes that he gets plenty of opportunities to do so this winter.
“It's all about getting experience and learning from everybody,” Carroll said. “I've made some mistakes and I've learned from them. I'm sure I'll make more but I'll just keep trying to learn and become a better rider. It's great to be down here with a great jockey colony. I'm just trying to learn every day which is all I can do.”
Carroll is set to break his Fair Grounds maiden on Friday November 16, where he is named rider on three mounts: Cheap Shot (Race 1, 6-1), Bank On Andy (Race 2, 5-2) and Briar Jumper (Race 3, 20-1). He is scheduled to pilot two on the following day with Old Rubbed Bronze (Race 5, 8-1) and Fuhr a Slam (Race 6, 6-1).
“I'm looking forward to getting started. I'm breaking in with a bunch of new trainers giving me the opportunity. I couldn't have asked for better people. Everyone that I have met down here has been nice to me, now I just have to prove to them that they would want to ride me again.”
Carroll's is represented by jockey agent Joe Paulley who also handles the riding engagements of jockey Joe Rocco, Jr.
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