By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
A dramatic finish to the end of the 2014 BVI Horse Racing season in the final race of the day, gave way to the sad news that Really Up Town—who ran in the the feature race where Apollo Sky romped to victory in their rematch—had to be put to sleep following an injury where the Virgin Islands only Triple Crown winner damaged the ligaments in his right front foot.
Sprinting from the gate on the inside corridor, Apollo Sky opened a sizeable lead on his main rival Really Up Town and the rest of the field that included St. Thomas’ Governors Cup champion Swag Daddy and debutant Chelian Boy, leading from the gate to wire en route to a three lengths victory in the 7 Furlongs $12,500 feature race.
Really Up Town tried valiantly to cut into Apollo Sky’s lead halfway through the race but fell off the pace and did not even cross the line as he injured his right foot, while Chelian Boy made a valiant effort to close the gap and finished second followed by Swag Daddy.
Apollo Sky—who beat Really Up Town by 6½ lengths in their last matchup in October—had a winning time of 1:31.1 in the 7 Furlongs race sponsored by Premier Dr. Orlando Smith and Hon. Alvin Christopher.
Chilean Boy and Swag Daddy followed. Really Up Town was put to rest after the final race.
“This (victory) was expected because he had been training very well and had been doing everything right,” Rodney Simmonds said of Apollo Sky. “He is the fastest horse and when you have a fast horse on a small track, they’re going to win all the time. Every time he runs that’s all he knows is to take it from the gate—even in America he was never behind. When you beat him, you have to pass him. He’s always in front so I’m not changing anything.”
The card ended on a high with the day’s most exciting finish over a Mile for Class A and B horses—a race with a $6000 purse. Trading Secrets laid off the pace then with Four Furlongs left went neck and neck with Still Unbroken—who had set the pace with Fort Pyramid—to nose him out for a win in 1:51.0. Doughmaker was scratched.
Sin Mirar Atras won other 7 Furlongs race for Class C and D horses with a $4200 purse in 1:33.1. Debutant Funny Accommodation of St. Thomas was second followed by the other debutant King Hugo. Southern Dunn and Prince of Speed finished in that order. Appealing Son was scratched.
Starship Titan cruised to a gate to wire victory in the first One Mile race for Class C horses competing for $5000. He had a winning time of 1:49.4 and didn’t receive any challenge from Buy Buy Buy as expected who finished second. Jordan’s Image brought up the rear. St. Thomas’ Philly Thunder and Meddlingbirdie were scratched.
Miss Homer turned back debutant Kenny’s Addi Blu to win the 6½ Furlongs for Class B and C Mares and Fillies in 1:25.2. Bitter Sweet Dream was third followed by veteran Orithya and St. Croix’s Pa Pa Pa Perfect. All About Faith was scratched.
There was controversy in race five as Kanavyen in it’s debut, had to run by himself in the day’s shortest race—an Open Sprint over 5 Furlongs with a $7500 purse. The St. Thomas’ duo of Stephen Got Better did not leave the gate and Break Up The Game was scratched. The time was 1:08.0. The owners for Stephen Got Better did not see the weigh and pulled their horse.
Assistant trainer Lou Hearman expressed his disappointment, nothing that the weight was to be 120 pounds with his horse racing at 115.
“We asked the officials to let us see the weigh on the other horse and they would not let us see the weight—that’s why they brought him down and let him run by himself, because they knew they didn’t have the right weight on the horse,” he explained. “I’m extremely disappointed. I brought my horse to run—not for this. My horse is only $7500 and theirs is $25,000 and they still don’t want to give us any weight. They’re afraid of our horse and we would have beaten them too anyhow.”
The card opened with Good Boy Daddy holding off Original Runner and Mark It A Wynn, to win the 6½ Furlongs race for Class D and E horses with a $4000 purse, in a time of 1:27.4. True Essence brought up the rear. Extra Brew from St. Thomas was scratched.