In this week’s report, trainer Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll looks back at her 2022 season and looks ahead to the upcoming 2023 Woodbine campaign.

Inside Track: Josie Carroll

  • 939 career wins
  • 165 career stakes wins
  • Top horses include Inglorious, Mighty Heart, Avie’s Flatter, Edenwold, Careless Jewel, Ami’s Holiday, Amis Gizmo, Serenading, Ami’s Flatter, Lukes Alley, Gamble’s Ghost, Curlin’s Voyage
  • Won 43 races in 2022, including eight stakes. Duke of Love won the Prince of Wales. Boardroom took the Grade 2 Royal North. Carroll reached the $2.1 million (U.S.) mark in earnings for the fourth straight year. Is once again a finalist for the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion trainer.

The 2022 campaign

“We had some interesting horses last year. I think it was a building year for us. We had a lot of young horses, 2-year-olds, and a lot of 3-year-olds who were just starting their careers. So, that makes you very excited about the upcoming year with the ones who launched their careers in 2022. Some of them stood out. Loyalty, she’s going to develop into a really nice horse. We had one race on the grass, which was her only poor race. I’m not sure if it was the grass or if it was just a bad day. While we’ll probably be aiming for the synthetic with her for this year, with her pedigree, we aren’t going to rule out the possibility of turf either. I just brought Collecting Flatter in from off the farm in Ocala. Mike Cook had her there and has done a great job prepping her. She’s come in ready to start breezing. Once we see the Woodbine stakes schedule, we’ll figure out whether we run her early there or on the synthetic at Turfway on the way up there.”

An interesting year

“We retired some of our stars, Boardroom, Avie’s Flatter, Belichick, and we were looking forward to big years from them. Retiring those three at the beginning of the season made it more of a challenge for the year, but I saw a lot of promise in our young horses, which was very encouraging. We really have a good 2023 to look forward to. There is nothing to complain about. We had a lot of nice horses win a lot of nice races. As I mentioned, it was a bit of a transition year as the younger horses were coming along. We have a lot of nice horses in the barn.”

Excitement building

“I would say that excitement about the new season is right now. We’re already looking at our year, horses that could stand out. We had a couple of horses, Striker and Silver Peak recently win here [Florida] this week, who look like they could go on to be something special. I’ve always thought Striker was a special horse and his 3-year-old brother, Silver Peak, jumped up and ran a bang-up race. There are a couple of strong horses right there. A few of the 2-year-olds who broke their maidens last fall, a lot of our horses really seem to come into themselves at that time. Often you will find that it’s the fall of that 2-year-old year where you see them jump up and show you something.”

Finish line

“There was a lot of excitement last year. As we’re breezing these young horses here in Florida, we’re getting excited. We have a lot of owners who breed for a more classic horse, so when you look at the overall picture, the mix of young horses and more established ones, we’re really looking forward to this year.”