Weston Hamilton, who turned 20 on Nov. 19, rode for the last time as an apprentice Dec. 21, winning two of his five mounts at Laurel Park to give him 118 victories this year with the weight allowance, tops in the country. His $3.43 million in purse earnings ranked second. His success has Hamilton in position to become the 11th Maryland-based rider to earn the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice, following future Hall of Famers Chris McCarron (1974) and Kent Desormeaux (1987) as well as Ronnie Franklin (1978), Alberto Delgado (1982), Allen Stacy (1986), Mike Luzzi (1989), Mark Johnston (1990), Jeremy Rose (2001), Ryan Fogelsonger (2002) and Victor Carasco (2013), who remains part of the current jockey colony. “It’s such a blessing and an honor to be riding, and I want to thank everyone that’s given me a shot and all the trainers and good horsemen that I’ve been around and have pushed me to get better,” Hamilton said. “It means the whole world to me to be leading right now.” Hamilton is the youngest son of Steve ‘Cowboy’ Hamilton, a popular and successful rider in Maryland over three different stints dating to the early 1990s.