By: Aubrie Green
Journeyman jockey Tyler Conner, who has had a successful career riding mostly in the northeast has moved his tack to Kentucky.
Conner started riding at Penn National in 2014, where he rode briefly before moving his tack to Laurel Park for the winter meet. He then rode out his apprenticeship at Delaware Park, while simultaneously shipping to Penn National in the evenings, and Laurel Park and Parx Racing on off days.
Conner’s career took off in the northeast rapidly, winning over 40 races in his first six months as an apprentice, followed by a 168-win year in 2015.
Tyler’s success has been consistent in the years following his start in 2014, winning over 1100 races. In 2017 Conner made a move to California where he rode for just over a year before returning to his home tracks, a decision he said was due to the extremely high cost of living in California, which made it difficult to earn a good living. “I wasn’t making enough money to actually make money. I was just paying bills and surviving out there with the cost of living.”
He returned to the Northeast where he continued to consistently win races. Despite his successes in the Northeast, Tyler is ready for a change. He recently made a new move, taking his tack to Kentucky. He has been working at Churchill and plans to ride at Turfway Park for the winter.
His new agent, Kevin Meeks, will be handling his book in Kentucky. “I’d like to be somewhere that can take me to the next level.” Conner looks forward to building new business, but he is not going into the Kentucky Circuit empty handed. He plans to be riding for familiar trainers like Jonathan Thomas and Arnaud Delacour, as well as a handful of trainers he knows from that brief stint in California.
Tyler Conner acknowledges that it won’t be easy getting started in a new circuit, but he is confident that he will be able to catch some attention and start winning races. “I’m looking forward to it… I will be riding quality horses, and it’s a lot more fun, that’s for sure.”
Conner has four mounts for the upcoming holiday weekend at Churchill Downs, including the Grade III Comely Stakes, in which he will ride Honor D Lady for Saffie Joseph, JR.