BEST JOCKEY - 2002
A clear winner in this category for two years running, Derek Bell is a young rider who treats his horses with respect, trains with ambition, and at the end of the day, brings home the big money. During the 2001 racing season at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Bell led the jockey standings. During the Minnesota Festival of Champions, he proved his worth by winning three of the six stakes outings, including the $56,000 Northern Lights Debutante, in which he rode Susie Blues to a commanding eight-and-a-half-length win, and a thrilling come-from-behind, three-quarter-length win in the Minnesota Distaff Sprint Championship on the back of Nidari. Honorable mention goes to Bobby Walker Jr., who in one day last August won five of the six races he entered, the horseracing equivalent of hockey's hat trick.