Kellie McDaid, the leading Thoroughbred jockey at the recently concluded 2018 meet at Los Alamitos, said on Wednesday morning that she is stepping away from riding effective immediately.
“It’s true, I’m not going to ride in 2019,” McDaid said.
McDaid said she’ll talk about her decision in more detail during the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Awards Banquet to be held on Thursday, January 24. The nighttime Thoroughbred racing leaders are also recognized on this evening.
“I want to thank all of those that supported me, the owners and trainers that gave me opportunities to ride over the past year, and of course to all the horses that put me there,” she added. “The racing fans were all so great. I had a year full of memories.”
An apprentice jockey in her first year of riding, McDaid finished the night meet with 73 wins from 275 Thoroughbred mounts, winning at a 26.5% rate. She won eight other Thoroughbred races during her career, several of those on longshots during the daytime Southern California Thoroughbred circuit meets at Los Alamitos. She also won a pair of 870-yard stakes races with Rule He Will, the Truly A Pleasure Handicap and the Snowbound Superstar Handicap. . When McDaid was recognized as the leading rider of the meet on closing weekend, her father, Tony, was on-hand from Ireland to watch her ride.
“Having my dad here to celebrate (was) amazing,” she said. “An experience I’ll never forget.”
A native of Ireland, McDaid, 30, added that she has been thinking about future endeavors for some time now.
“I’m a trained nutritionist and I have a business idea that I’d like to pursue,” she added. “The time I spent galloping horses for people like Bob Baffert and others were some great times. I’ll still gallop. I’ll be around the track. I’m excited about that.”