Saturday, September 8, 2007 12:00 AM
Sixteen-year-old apprentice jockey Dylan Williams won the first race at Turfway Park Saturday, closing late on Major Jack to catch Bling Bling Fred and veteran rider Robert Williams—his dad—just before the wire.
"My dad taught me everything," Dylan said. "Since I was five or six years old he's been teaching me."
"But he didn't give me any respect today," grinned the elder Williams, 49 years old and a longtime leader at tracks across Nebraska and other prairie states. "Out in Nebraska he started cutting into my business, so I sent him to California for a while. Now I remember why I did that. I like to win. I'm proud of him when he wins, but I don’t like it when he beats me!"
Dylan Williams took out his jockey's license on February 8, 2007, his 16th birthday, and rode his first race the next day at Fonner Park, finishing second. He earned his first win the following day; his dad finished second that time, too.
Robert Williams began riding in 1976 and has 4,234 wins including 158 stakes. His father, Dean, was a track announcer and wrote for Daily Racing Form, and his grandfather was his first agent. He occasionally has followed a mount to Turfway during his career and returned to keep an eye on his son. The runner-up finish Saturday was his first ride this meet.
Through his last scheduled mount Saturday, Dylan leads the Turfway jockey standings with 5 wins from 12 mounts, including victories in the first, third, and fifth races on Saturday. The meet began September 5 and concludes October 4.