Tyler Redwood might have put together another strong night with four wins at Cornerstone Raceway in Yorkton Friday, but the biggest applause was reserved for Garrett Isman.
Isman had his first win as a driver piloting Cheyenne Dusk to top spot in the sixth race coming from behind to edge Kevin Sampson and Kinda Special.
The win for Isman came less than a week after being awarded his driver’s license, although he has been involved in horses most of his life as son of long-time Manitoba driver George Isman.
“I’ve been around horses for probably 10-15 years,” he said, adding he became a full time trainer only in March.
Isman, 29, said he had not initially considered driving even with his father’s lineage.
“To be honest when I was younger I really wasn’t interested in it,” he said.
And then he was taken on a training drive, and that changed his perspective completely.
Isman said he worked hard to get his trainer’s license, knowing it was a required step to become a driver.
But as a driver he admitted getting to the winner’s circle in only his fifth start was pretty special. He did add he felt good with Cheyenne Dusk when looking at the field.
“I thought my horse was one of the best in the race,” he said, adding he felt if he had a good drive he had a chance to win.
Cheyenne Dusk in one of seven or eight horses Isman, a Bank of Montreal manager when not racing owns in partnerships with his father, Richard Remillard or friend Trevor Williams.
Isman said training with his father, and Remillard back on their Manitoba farm was a big plus in him feeling so comfortable as a driver so quickly.
“I trained every single weekend with Richard and my dad,” he said, adding the three actually did mini races, especially with young horses so they get a feel for racing other horses, and he too benefited from the experience.
And as an owner, and growing up around the sport, Isman said he had watched a lot of races.
“I think I understand the strategy pretty good for a rookie,” he said.
Redwood did have a big night including driving Judges Discretion to her fifth straight win over Clayton Braybrook and Als Dream Gal and Blake Piwniuk with Out Of Snorts.
Redwood also had wins with G GS Dominator, Light The Board in a night’s best time of 2:00.0, and Ashley Rocks.