CAMPBELLVILLE, October 11 -
The talented young conditioner has put up career numbers with 16 wins from 76 starts with just shy of $250,000 in seasonal earnings. On top of that, the 31-year-old has an impressive .340 Udrs.
"Its been one of those years where everything has fallen into place," Walker said. "We have a nice group of young horses that have raced very well this summer. We don't have a big stable and I prefer it that way. I'd take quality over quantity any day."
Walker's terrific season was highlighted by rookie Massive Muscles, who banked $106,250 in earnings.
The son of finished most recently finished second in the $200,000 OSS Super Final with Walker's boyfriend, J.B. Renaud in the bike.
Walker and Renaud share ownership of the youngster who boasts a 2-3-0 record from six starts.
"He was just one of those horses who continued to improve with each start," Walker said. "My father (Paul) trained him down until around February then sent him to me and I finished him off. He's one of those horses that always trained well and I guess we got lucky with him."
Not bad for a mere $2,500 purchase at the 2012 Harrisburg Yearling Sale from breeder Karen Carroll.
"Whenever I go to the sale, I try and find families that I'm familiar with," Walker said. "I knew his family because my father trained Dillavec ($121,814) and this horse's dam is a brother to him. I guess he was a little coarse, but his video was flawless."
Walker and Renaud were at it again this past Thursday evening at Mohawk as Sixth Man lit up the tote board at odds of 62-1.
The trotting son of captured the non-winners of two event in a new lifetime best, while paying $127.70 to win providing Renaud with his first driving win on the WEG Circuit.
Walker, a native of Owen Sound, was fostered into the business by her father, Paul, who is a well-respected horseman and her mother, Brenda, who is a past Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) Commissioner.
"I'm a pretty lucky person to have the guidance I've received over the years from both my parents," Walker said. "My father is someone who I look up to and often seek advice from. He's a terrific trainer and taught me the fundamentals of the business."
Walker will condition roughly 10 horses this winter at Shamrock Training Center.
"That's right about the number where I'm comfortable," Walker said. "That way every horse is given that attention to detail and nothing goes unmissed. It's been a great summer and hopefully it continues into the winter months."
Walker, who has a deep passion for the support, also volunteers her time to assist in the Racing Under Saddle (RUS) events in Ontario.
The non-wagering event features a talented group of riders accompanied by trotters traditionally seen in harness racing in a one-mile dash.
"It's something that I have seen become very successful in Europe when I visited and it's great to see that we are starting to do it," Walker said. "It's a way to promote the sport and I enjoy being apart of it. Hopefully it has a future."
The event has been showcased at Mohawk Racetrack, Hanover Raceway, Grand River Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park and Western Fair Raceway.
"The tracks this year have been terrific at supporting the event and I think the fans really appreciated it as well. We have seen some terrific crowds come out to see it, so it's obviously an attraction to fans."
Walker, who has banked over $675,000 in purses as a trainer, is one victory shy of her 50th trip to the winner's circle.
Another first is soon in store for the young talented conditioner who has a deep love and passion for the sport of harness racing.
by Greg Gangle for WEG