Six Sovereign Awards as Canada’s Outstanding Jockey; four of those in consecutive years.
Two Queen’s Plate victories, 3,306 career-winning rides, dozens of stakes races, including 36 in one season, tying a record.
Todd Kabel dominated the Woodbine riding colony for the better part of the new century and won well over 100 races each season for 20 straight years. He was fearless, smart, aggressive and relentless in his pursuit of a victory.
It was all he ever wanted to do: ride races and win.
The news of his passing shook the Woodbine community, so many of whom have plenty of good memories and fun stories about the McCreary, Manitoba-born Kabel. He came to Woodbine in the mid-1980s, rode his first horse in 1984 and was Canada’s Outstanding Apprentice in 1986. Not only did he succeed in making the very tough transition from bug rider to journeyman jockey, but Kabel was also in high demand from every top barn on the grounds.
In 2003 he became the first Canadian-based jockey to earn more than $10 million in purses, and in 2004 he tied the record of 36 graded stakes race wins in a season set by the late Hall of Fame jockey, Avelino Gomez.
Among Kabel’s major wins, he rode Regal Discovery to victory in the 1995 Queen’s Plate, the country’s most prestigious race, and that was his big break. In 2000, aboard Scatter The Gold, he earned his second victory in the Queen’s Plate then won the Prince of Wales Stakes, both of which were run on dirt. However, Kabel and Scatter The Gold missed winning the Canadian Triple Crown when they finished third in the Breeders’ Stakes on turf.
He won all of the big races at Woodbine and rode in Breeders’ Cups in the U.S., finishing second on 78-to-1 shot Dawson’s Legacy in the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Those who knew Kabel best were often treated to a fun and silly prankster who was kind and generous with his time. He loved kids and was often seen signing goggles for little ones at the track.
Most of us will remember more about Todd because there was a good person on the inside, a passionate person and a determined will to make himself the best at what he did for as long as he could.