|Race Day Preview Day 29 Saturday 18th August 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
Another shot at Jetsam Awards
THE Arima Race Club (ARC) will take another shot at staging the 2011 Jetsam Awards function at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, on Saturday.
The ceremony had been scheduled for last Saturday, but flooding in north Trinidad left employees and fans marooned in their homes that day and the decision was taken to cancel the day’s programme.
Racing had been abandoned after a few events when rain turned the track into something resembling a lake during the Emancipation Day (August 1) holiday card in 2007, but last Saturday was the first time that an entire day’s racing was called off since the sport was centralised in early 1994.
Eight events had been scheduled, but there will be ten this time around and the awards will be presented between the events.
The function will culminate with the announcement of the most prestigious prize of all – Horse of the Year. Signal Alert, the Stewards Cup winner, Gold Cup hero Boogie Blues, the now deceased Sir Bas, unbeaten from three juvenile races, and two-time defending Horse of the Year Bruceontheloose are the nominees.
To pay tribute to the occasion, the ARC had named all the races after locally-bred horses which were Horse of the Year winners. This policy will remain in place this Saturday and Hilario and Cachito Mio, the 1988 and ’89 winners, respectively, have been added to the list of champions being honoured.
Conquest was the 1985 winner, while Sky Rocket, the triple crown champ the following year, Tune In Time (’90), Black Jack (’91), Renegade (’93). Adoring Groom (’96), Chanticleer (’99) and Infallibility (2000) are the others.
The main event remains the same, but the 1,750-metre contest for 90 & 70 rated horses – named after Adoring Groom, who went on to capture the Superstakes in Jamaica after winning the Midsummer Classic and Trinidad Derby 16 years ago – will now be the penultimate race after being the fifth on last week’s programme.
The field is virtually unchanged with the only difference being the exchange of Personal Exchange for the highly-regarded Silverleo.
This beefs up an already high-quality feature as Personal Exchange has fallen off the radar this season and was not expected to be a threat.
But although Silverleo was competing at a higher level in Canada last season, it is really tough to assess the American-bred four-year-old as both his races at Santa Rosa Park have been on the turf and has not seen action since Easter Monday (April 9).
Still, the John O’Brien-trained chestnut was slouch on the dirt track at Woodbine race course and he could be among the principals if he is not rusty.
Also among the eight declared to go to past at 5 p.m. are Go For The Gold and Sam’s Hero, two of the leading classic contenders of 2010.
In fact, both Jamaican-bred horses ended up on the board in all three legs of the triple crown two years ago. Go For The Gold finished second in the Derby after placing fourth in Guineas and “Midsummer”, respectively, and Sam’s Hero won the Midsummer Classic and finished third in the other two legs.
They both cooled down considerably last season and the lacklustre form continued this year until the last time they faced the starter.
After finishing off the board in both outings early this year, Sam’s Hero was given a break and he came back after over five months of inactivity and went down by just a neck to Youaresobad over 1,800 metres over this trip and at this level a month ago.
The week before, Go For The Gold had looked a certain winner before drifting to the outside rail from mid-stretch and eventually losing to Buffalo Soldier by a short-head in the 1,750-metre contest for 85-65 rated horses.
Go For The Gold had failed to finish in the money in his five previous starts of the season and his rivals were not nearly as tough as the ones Sam’s Hero had to deal with the week after.
However Roma Sagan Maraj’s chestnut was allotted the penny-stamp of 48 kilos and will be 8.5 kilos lighter than Sam’s Hero after being at level weights or close to it with Steve Samaroo’s chestnut in the majority of their previous clashes.
Also, Go For The Gold has moved from Dr Ryan Shim’s barn to the care of champion trainer O’Brien since he returned to form five weeks ago and we will have to wait and how he has settled in his new home.
Talented American-breds Golden Dixieland, Lang Amour, Secret American and Star Tiger are also here to make things very interesting.
Lang Amour, Star Tiger and Secret American were in fact all beaten by Sam’s Hero last time out on July 21. Racing for only the fourth time in his career and the first over two turns, Star Tiger ran a corker and finished less than two lengths adrift into third.
It was his first race in two months and the Maniram Maharaj-owned and trained three-year-old is expected to be much sharper and also prefer the fact that he will have to run 50 metres less this time.
However Star Tiger will be about five kilos heavier this time around.
Secret American, who like Sam’s Hero is owned by Samaroo and trained by Johnathan Lyder, finished a tame sixth last time out. But the American-bred three-year-old was coming off a three-month break after performing very well previously over two turns and he should not be overlooked.
Lang Amour had no excuses for his disappointing fourth-placed effort in that same event. But the David Ojar-owned and trained half-brother to 2010 Gold Cup winner Cactus Amour is a respected stayer with four wins and he is capable of bouncing back here.
After placing sixth in the Grade II President’s Cup on the same July 21 card, Golden Dixieland drops back down to his class and is expected to be among the main contenders.
This Terrance Thomas-trained American-bred three-year-old was triumphant by over four lengths over Saturday’s trip the last time he competed in this class and he will also have sentimental support.
Golden Dixieland is owned by former ARC president Wendell Kangaloo, who is reportedly making progress in the United States after falling into a coma following a vehicular accident on the way to the track a few months ago.
Rounding out the field is Kangaloo’s Undulation, who showed real promise last season but has struggled mightily since he returned in April after a break of exactly a year.
Three graduates from the riding school were scheduled to grace the track for the first time last Saturday and they were expected to be very busy with three mounts apiece.
David Butcher and Keran Khelawan were again able to secure three bookings each, but Romario Hernandes will now have to wait another day to make his debut.
However Steve Jadoo, who did not get a single ride last Saturday, is set to make his debut aboard Lizzy at 2.28 p.m. in the fifth, the Hilario event over 1,100 metres on the turf for 30 & lower horses.
The 20-year-old, whose brother Christopher, father Kennedy and uncle Ricky are also riders, will also be in action in the next race at 3.07 p.m. aboard Trust N Confidence if the Chanticleer 1,100-metre contest for 70-50 rated horses is switched off the turf.
Butcher, who was down to partner Trust N Confidence last week, has retained his booking aboard Undulation in the feature and will replace Hernandes aboard Unbridled Way in the Renegade 1,200-metre contest for 55-35 rated horses, now the opening event after being the fourth race last Saturday.
The 20-year-old will also partner Big Mass for veteran owner/trainer Maharaj at 1.50 p.m. in the fourth race – the Tune In Time 1,200-metre contest for 85-65 rated horses.
Khelawan makes his debut in this very race aboard Becquerel and will be competing against his older brother as Dillon, who made his debut a few months ago and has been successful nine times, is down to ride 2010 Guineas runner-up Treasure Hunt.
Keran, the youngest of the graduates at age 16, will also be clashing will his older sibling in the two other races he is involved in.
Keran will ride Ten Powers and Dillon, Roman Anthem, in the sixth, the Chanticleer event. And two races later, Keran and Dillon will be aboard Classic Material and Cover You Donkey, respectively, in the Cachito Mio 1,300-metre contest for 60-40 rated horses at 4.24 p.m.
This will be the third of four HI-5 betting races on the card. Punters will also attempt to select the first five finishers in the fourth (1.50 p.m.), the sixth (3.07 p.m.), the curtain event at 5.40 p.m.
There will be a carry-over of over $27,000 in the fourth after there were no winners of the HI-5 wager when racing was last staged on Emancipation Day.
The Pick 4 wager will span the last four events and almost $4,000 is the carry-over pool after there were no winners when the wager was introduced on Emancipation Day.
No one was successful in the Pick 6 either on the last racing day and as a result there is over $18,000 in the carry-over pool. This wager will begin with the fifth race – the Hilario event at 2.28 p.m.
Post time for the 29th round of the ARC’s 2012 Season is noon (some genius changed this to 12 noon in my Emancipation Day preview and I hope it does not happen again!).
|Last Updated ( Friday, 24 August 2012 20:07 )|