Paulick Report Press Release
23-year-old jockey Drayden Van Dyke recently met with Santa Anita’s Zoe Cadman and Alexis Garske for observations from one of So-Cal’s brightest young stars, well on his way to becoming one of racing’s signature riders.
Much has been made of the mentors who have guided you, but what have you learned on your own?
“I’ve definitely had to learn some things first-hand. You have to make some of your own mistakes that teach a lesson you couldn’t be told. That’s the kind of stuff you have to learn on your own.”
What’ one of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made?
“Not showing up for workers when I was an apprentice. I was working with Tom Proctor and had rented a house with Mike Smith in Del Mar. It was my first summer and I was excited. I had spent a lot but unfortunately, I had to stay in the tack room for a week as punishment.
“At least I could see the moon from my bed (laughing).”
“There are a lot of them but definitely Justify is up there for me. To be involved in the history that he made and to be able to break his maiden and work him is really cool to me.”
Have you ever wanted to play another sport?
“I would love to play basketball, if I had the size, definitely. Second behind that would be golf. I don’t have a handicap but I shoot in the mid-80’s.
“Even when I play for fun, I like to be competitive. I’ll play for fun but the fun goes away and I’m definitely trying to win. I enjoy it, but I’m definitely always trying.”
Beer or wine?
Cardi B or Nicki Minaj?
“(Laughs) Well, who won the fight the other day?”
Football or Baseball?
What did you eat last night?
“Scrambled eggs with avocado and broccoli. Yes, eggs for dinner. I love eggs.”
Are there other jobs in racing that look interesting or that you could see yourself doing one day?
“I think I’d enjoy TV. Maybe as an analyst. Similar to what Jerry Bailey is doing and what Gary did. I think I would enjoy doing something like that.”
What’s a dream day off for you?
“Not waking up to a phone call, sleeping in and waking up naturally. Just taking my time, having some coffee and not really making any plans.”
What’s a little-known, fun fact about yourself?
“I like rap music. I’ll memorize entire songs so when I go out and we’re dancing I can get into it and rap along (laughing).
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
“I’d like to have dinner with my dad one more time.”
(Drayden’s father passed away in 2014)