Apprentice Jockey Ashley Broussard achieved a new riding accomplishment on Friday night at Delta Downs when she won her first ever stakes race. She replicated that feat just one day later and in doing so has been named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for December 14th – December 20th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Broussard enjoyed the first stakes win of her career on Friday night when she rode Oh Baby Oh Baby to a decisive victory in the Lookout Stakes. It only took 24 hours to get her second stakes victory as she booted home Deep Bottom in Saturday night’s $65,000 B-Connected Stakes for trainer Keith Bourgeois and owner Thomas L. Holyfield.
Broussard’s two big wins came in very similar style as she went nearly gate-to-wire in victory and reported home by a wide margin both times. On Saturday night aboard Deep Bottom she hit the finish line 4-3/4 lengths ahead of favored Galveston Harbor. On Friday night aboard Oh Baby Oh Baby she won by four lengths and was also never threatened in victory.
Broussard won her first race at Ellis Park on Aug. 16, 2013 and then had a big winter as the Fair Grounds’ winningest apprentice. She moved her tack to Penn National near Hershey, Pennsylvania, to try to maximize her mounts and wins while she still had the apprentice weight allowances.
Broussard, who turned 23 in August, was ranked among Penn National’s leading riders when she became pregnant. She says she became extremely ill during the earliest days, unable to keep food down and even passing out, forcing her to quit riding before she might have otherwise.
She became a new mom to son Bentley on March 14 of this year and now relishes the role while getting back to riding once again.
“I know how dangerous it is,” Broussard said of being a jockey. “I guess that mothering instinct kind of kicks in real strong when you’re pregnant and you have them. Then you realize you also have to make money to support your kid. That’s it. I mean, one of things I’m best at is riding racehorses.”
Broussard said she loves “every second” of being a mother, adding, “I never pictured myself with a kid, ever. Now I can’t picture myself any other way. … But it’s a lot. You really don’t have time for a break, kind of like working three jobs now.”
For the week Broussard tallied six winners from her 22 starts with six second placings and two third place finishes. Her total earnings for the week were $179,435.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.