By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The highly anticipated return of 2015 USVI’s Governors Cup champ Doughmaker following surgery in July, ended in tragedy at the top of the stretch, during the $10,000 Boxing Day One Mile feature race at the Ellis Thomas Downs.
While My Pal Shaun was preparing to comfortably cross the finish line in one minute and 47.1 after dominating Doughmaker’s stable mate Bitter Sweet Dream, Doughmaker reinjured himself, threw off his jockey after buckling—and suffered two broken front legs and was later put to sleep.
“I’m really sorry for him and the jockey and I really hate to see things like this happen,” My Pal Shawn’s owner Alex Lake said immediately after the race as BVI Horse Racing officials, horse owners and fans raced to see what had happened to Doughmaker and his jockey. “I wish those things would never happen but that’s part of the sport. I’m sorry for L& B (Stables). I hope everything is not as it seems.”
Doughmaker’s jockey Brian Gonzales was examined by paramedics on the scene but wasn’t injured in the mishap.
Lake said his horse ran as he wanted him to. “We wanted him to break sharp, go up on the lead and if the Mare tried by go a little faster, we’d sit off of her a little bit then take her down,” he explained. “So said so done.”
The final race was run in the dark after incident delayed the start by 50 minutes. Lake collected another winner when debutant Honors beat back a field of fellow debutants in the 6½ Furlongs, $4,500 race. Sir Whisky was second while Gottocha Bob was the show horse. Atarrante followed while Daboluck was scratched.
St. Thomas’ Pumped Up Kicks had the days’ biggest margin of victory when he ran away from Chilean Boy in the One Mile run for Class B Horses that offered $6,000 in prizes. Unchallenged Pumped Up Kicks had a winning time of 1:44 flat. How’s a Winner and Unguided Missile both of St. Thomas, were third and fourth. Wrol Up, expected to be in the mix, was scratched.
The card opened with LB Thunder holding off fast charging Joshua in the 6½ Furlongs $3,500 race for Class E Horses by half a length at the line. LB Thunder had a winning time of one minute and 26 flat. Debutant Dramacidel wasn’t a factor in the race.
Riding from the rail, Sin Miar Atras took the second race over 7 Furlongs for Class D Horses from Mark It A Wynn, to claim the Lion’s share of the $4500 purse in a time of 1:32.0.
Debutant Gus Is Tuf from St. Thomas was the show horse, after finishing just ahead of Meddling Birdie. Optionality, another debutant was fifth with Power Ten who was never in the race after a bad break, rounding out the field.
Miss Homer ran a courageous third race for Class D Mares and Fillies over One Mile. Miss Homer and Motion to appeal were the front runners early in the race before Miss Homer opened a short lived lead. Motion To Appeal pulled even with two Furlongs left in the race, but Miss Homer dug in and opened a quick two lengths lead on the final turn. Motion To Appeal never gave up, came charging down the stretch to fall short by half a length as Miss Homer took the $4,500 race in 1:50 flat. Orithyia was the show horse with True Essence, who never contended in tow.
The day’s fourth race over 7 Furlongs with a $5000 purse was the most dramatic. Yes By Eric, running from the inside corridor, broke the gate before the race started and headed to the Padlock area before being stopped and was eventually ridden back to the start by another rider. Then when the race started, Buy, Buy, Buy running from lane four, did not break the gate. St. Thomas’ I’m Sensational whose owners bought him just three weeks ago, went on to win in 1:30.4, ahead of Starship Titan. Yes By Eric who tired himself out before the start, finished third.
St. Thomas’ Atrevete who was scheduled to debut was scratched after running in St. Croix on Saturday.