Feb 22, 2023

Fear gripped Floyd Wethey, Jr., and he didn't know how to manage it.

Article By: Hal Lundgren

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Fear gripped Floyd Wethey, Jr., and he didn't know how to manage it.

That emotion never hit when he was fearlessly charging around a horse track at 40 mph. It struck more than a decade ago when the then-teen jockey was asked for an interview on Oaklawn Park's regular TV show.

"I never knew what to say because, for me, it was a scary experience,"
Wethey said. "I just froze up."

Those days are long gone. Today, Wethey has become a poised, articulate interview subject.

Better still, he has turned himself into someone who rides as well as he speaks. Wethey ranks right behind Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez and Stewart Elliott in Sam Houston Race Park's 2023 jockey standings.

His success could not surprise his grandfather, father and an uncle.
Under their guidance, he grew up around horses in rural Oklahoma.

"Horses were a family thing from the get-go," he said. "I was raised around Quarter Horses. I was observant and paid attention to the way my grandpa, father and uncle did things."

He's still observant, watching videos, studying Thoroughbred performances and seeking other ways to ride better.

The result? Wethey has increased annual earnings in nine of the last
11 years. His purse totals climbed from $875,000 in 2012 to last year's $2.25 million.
For his career, Wethey's mounts have pulled in $22.4 million.

Wethey gets back home to Edmond, OK as often as possible. There, wife Erin and infant Adie are delighted to see him.

"I wanted to name our daughter Adeline," Wethey said. "I didn't think Erin would stand for that. But she did."

Then it's back SHRP and this year's afternoon programs.

"I like this schedule much better than when Sam Houston had night racing," he said. "Those night programs ran very late. You'd be restless afterward, and you didn't always get a good night's sleep.
Now the programs end much earlier. It's easier to get to sleep at 9 or
10 and be ready for the next day."