Ian Wilkes

Birth Date: Tuesday, May 25, 1965
Birth Place: Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia

2012-13 Gulfstream Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
50 8 5 6 $263,421
Career: Wilkes saddled Fort Larned for a victory in the Skip Away (G3) during the 2011-12 Gulfstream meeting. The colt would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and more than $3.5 million in earnings for 2012. Fort Larned returned to the win the Foster (G1) at Churchill before finishing fourth in the Classic.
 
Wilkes ranked seventh in earnings at the 2012 Saratoga meeting, during which he saddled Fort Larned for a victory in the Whitney (G1). 
 
He saddled Neck n’ Neck for a fifth-place finish in the Florida Derby (G1) and a triumph in the Indiana Derby (G2). 
 
He has enjoyed Grade 1 success with a pair of hard-knocking veterans: Warrior’s Reward, who Captured the 2010 Carter Handicap and Belmont, and Capt. Candyman Can, who won the 2009 King’s Bishop at Saratoga and finished third in the 2012 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G2).
 
Other: He grew up on a dairy farm in Australia and began working as a groom and exercise rider at 16. He moved to the U.S. in 1989 to gallop horses, including 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, for trainer Carl Nafzger. 
 
He returned to Australia to train horses for three years before returning to assist Nafzger in 1993.
 
When Nafzger went into semi-retirement, he took over the training of the majority of his stable.