TRAINER JASON DACOSTA ON TRACK FOR HIS MOST SUCCESSFUL YEAR YET
When Silver Cloud crossed the finish line in the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Stakes during last Saturday’s Summit of Speed, the 5-year-old gelding earned not only his first career stakes victory but also gave owner and trainer Jason DaCosta his own first career stakes score in his young training career.
“[I’ve had] a lot of close ones but this is the first one,” DaCosta said. “A lot of seconds and thirds and fourths, but this is the first win. It’s a really good feeling. I’ve been trying for awhile now to win one, and it feels good.”
The 28-year-old native of Kingston, Jamaica began his career as a trainer in the United States in 2009, and has raced his horses on the south Florida circuit with Calder Casino & Race Course as his home base since the start. This past winter, he spent the season at Tampa Bay Downs.
DaCosta is on track to have his best year yet in his training career. He already has 17 wins from 63 starts with 14 second-place and six third-place finishes with his horses’ earnings totaling $307,158 in 2013. Last year, DaCosta won a career-high 21 races from 122 starts, with 16 second-place and 14 third-place finishes and earnings of $334,353. His career-high earnings came in 2011 with $358,251.
DaCosta said that his goals are to “just keep on doing good and try and acquire good horses to win big races.”
He presently has 15 horses in training and owns many of his own horses that he trains. A few have been in partnerships, while his father has owned some as well.
“I like when you buy a young horse and you develop them and you get them from scratch and you bring them on and you win a race – that’s a great feeling,” DaCosta said.
DaCosta purchased Silver Cloud from the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training in 2010 for $34,000.
“Silver Cloud holds a special place in me because he’s my first stakes win and I bought him as a 2-year-old so I’ve had him from day one,” DaCosta said.
Previous stakes runners for DaCosta who came close in stakes races include Given Enchantment, who finished second in the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Calder in 2011, and Miss Aristocrat, who finished second in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa in 2010. Both were owned by his father.
Racing horses in the United States has allowed DaCosta to make his own name for himself. His father, Wayne DaCosta, is a famous champion trainer who has won all of the major races in Jamaica and is a member of the Jamaica Racing Hall of Fame. The younger DaCosta has constantly been involved in the horse racing world since he was born and worked as an assistant trainer for his father for about five years at Caymanas Park before starting his own career as a head trainer in Florida.
“There’s more opportunities here,” DaCosta said. “Because he’s the leading trainer down there I would have to be competing against him, so I decided to come here and try it out and it paid off.”