Callaghan to Receive Avelino Gomez Memorial Award

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Slade CallaghanMichael Burns/WEG

Slade Callaghan, who has recorded nearly 850 career wins, including 31 stakes, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The award is given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than five years, who has made significant contributions to the sport.

“I was really humbled,” said Callaghan. “I've been here at Woodbine 28 years and every year I've been here I've seen so many great riders, who have had amazing careers, receive this award. For me to be added to this list is overwhelming. It's also gratifying. I don't know where the time has gone. It's been about 10 years since I was what I'd call semi-retired, riding a few horses, but definitely not full time. I love this racetrack and I love the people. I'm glad I made the decision to ride here.”

Callaghan, 51, has enjoyed great success over a riding career that began when he was just 16. In 1994, he made decision to come to Canada with the hope of becoming a regular at Woodbine, a place where his brother, Brett, had also competed. His first Canadian victory came at Fort Erie that same year. In 1999, Callaghan won 60 races, including six stakes. After a 48-win campaign in 2000, Callaghan posted 43 victories in 2001 and 54 in 2002. One year later, he topped the $2 million plateau in purse earnings, marking the fifth straight year he reached that number. In 2004, he posted a career-best 64 wins.

This year's Avelino Gomez Memorial Award ceremony will take place July 24 at Woodbine.

Slade Callaghan, who has recorded nearly 850 career wins, including 31 stakes, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The award is given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than five years, who has made significant contributions to the sport.

“I was really humbled,” said Callaghan. “I've been here at Woodbine 28 years and every year I've been here I've seen so many great riders, who have had amazing careers, receive this award. For me to be added to this list is overwhelming. It's also gratifying. I don't know where the time has gone. It's been about 10 years since I was what I'd call semi-retired, riding a few horses, but definitely not full time. I love this racetrack and I love the people. I'm glad I made the decision to ride here.”

Callaghan, 51, has enjoyed great success over a riding career that began when he was just 16. In 1994, he made decision to come to Canada with the hope of becoming a regular at Woodbine, a place where his brother, Brett, had also competed. His first Canadian victory came at Fort Erie that same year. In 1999, Callaghan won 60 races, including six stakes. After a 48-win campaign in 2000, Callaghan posted 43 victories in 2001 and 54 in 2002. One year later, he topped the $2 million plateau in purse earnings, marking the fifth straight year he reached that number. In 2004, he posted a career-best 64 wins.

This year's Avelino Gomez Memorial Award ceremony will take place July 24 at Woodbine.

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