Spending a season at a whole new racetrack can be tough for a young rider like Ty Kennedy, but this Fair Grounds meet, he has proven that he's capable of handling a challenge.
Kennedy, 24, is making his first winter in New Orleans a successful one so far with a dozen victories finishing in the money at a 33% rate.
“Whenever it's your first year going to a new spot, you're not really sure what to expect being the new person and you're meeting a whole new group of people,” Kennedy said. “My agent Rocco O'Connor has really been getting out there and doing the work, walking the miles on the backside and it's really got us in some good spots. I got to give him a lot of credit for working hard and doing what it takes to be successful down here.”
A native of Hiawatha, Kan., Kennedy is familiar with the jockey colony that awaited him in New Orleans having ridden against most of them in Kentucky throughout the year last year.
“Some places you go with a whole new colony and a different riding style so you have to adjust,” Kennedy said. “But it seems like everyone from Kentucky just kind of came here. It's not a huge transition from that aspect which is nice.”
Last year, Kennedy spent the winter at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky.
“This year we decided we wanted to be warmer,” Kennedy said. “A lot of our smaller day-to-day business looked like they were going to come down here in the winter time so we figured we would give it a shot down here. We really didn't know what to expect but with the likes of Chris Hartman and Wayne Catalano we started off on a great note and gained more and more. Everything has fallen into place.”
Of his 12 victories so far this meet, nine of them were wither for Hartman or Catalano.
Kennedy began his riding career in 2014. His first win came in April 2015 aboard Tournade Lynnie at Prairie Meadows where he rode regularly before a brief stint at Santa Anita for their fall meet that year where he rode six winners for trainer Art Sherman.
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