LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 11, 2016) – Thanks to her time spent as an exercise rider, Katie Clawson certainly knows her way around Keeneland. She received a different view of the track last Saturday when she rode in a race here for the first time, finishing fourth aboard The Farm on 4’s homebred stakes winner Whateverybodywants in the third race.
“It was a great experience,” said the 19-year-old apprentice, who has ridden three winners since launching her career this year. “I love it here and I love to see all the fans.”
Clawson had ridden Whateverybodywants several times while an exercise rider for trainer Kellyn Gorder, who keeps a year-round division in Keeneland’s Rice Road stable area.
While living in Arizona, Clawson was seven when she began taking riding lessons. After she and her family moved to Brazil, Ind., she switched from riding horses with a Western saddle to riding jumpers and other horses in an English saddle. She was 13 when she decided to become a jockey.
“I remember the day I decided to be a jockey,” she said. “I had a pony that I would ride out in a field. It was so much fun. I was just starting to follow racing. I didn’t know what outlet to use to get into it.”
Through a mutual friend, Clawson met exercise rider and trainer Danielle Rosier, who works at Churchill Downs, and started making the connections that led to her career at the track. For Gorder, she rode her first winner on June 18 at Churchill. She later won a race for Rosier and scored a second victory for Gorder.
On Oct. 21, Clawson scored her first Keeneland victory Saturday when she rode Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s favored Newfound Gold to victory in the seventh race. Mike Maker trains the winner, a 9-year-old gelding by Newfoundland, who took the six-furlong race by a length in 1:10.59.