By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
When it comes to winning on his home turf, Lesmore Smith horses have a tough time. Coming off his third St. Thomas Carnival Governor’s Cup victory since 2011, his Giant Valley could only watch My Pal Shawn sprint away from him in a 7 Furlongs match race at the Ellis Thomas Downs in Sunday’s feature race—after Call Daddy who was expected to make his debut—became the fourth of five St. Thomas horses on the card to scratch.
My Pal Shawn set a blistering pace from the gate and controlled the race. Just when it seemed that Giant Valley would begin to challenge My Pal Shawn on the back stretch, he accelerated and Giant Valley had no response and romped a four lengths victory in one minute 31.3.
“Today he showed that if he had break with them in St. Thomas he would have creamed them, he would have kill them and put them away,” My Pal Shawn’s owner Alex Lake said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t for many reasons—people holding him in the gate, terrible start— but, he got to redeem himself today.”
The race was a bit disappointing in many ways for Smith. “There are a lot of things that didn’t work in tandem with what I set out to do,” he noted. “The ride I got in St. Thomas and the ride I got today there was no comparison. I tried to get the same jockey back but unfortunately, based on a classic they had in Puerto Rico today, that was not successful. So, it was like patching and going. I’m happy for the guys that won, bit sad, disappointed for my crew who put in the hours. But, it’s horse racing,” he added. “We’re getting ready forAug 2. We’re going to go out there and compete and make the best of it.”
Honors, Lake’s other horse, gained a 2-1 victory edge over Smith’s Bellamy Chief in their heated rivalry with St. Thomas’ Bras Note also in the field. Honors repelled Bellamy Chief’s charge for a easy runaway seven lengths victory. He was time in 1:34.4, going gate to wire. Brass Note followed Bellamy Chief home while Explosive Image of St. Thomas scratched.
Atorrante and the Big Meow engaged in a duel over the 7 Furlongs sprint in the day’s third race for Class B and C horses, after Returning Rock stumbled out the gate. Atorrante kept fending off the Big Meow and when he made his last move on the back stretch, Atorrante stepped on the gas opening a lead that grew to eight lengths by the time he crossed the line in 1:33.2. Returning Rock overhauled the Big Meow for the show spot. St. Thomas’ Untie The Knot was scratched.
The card kicked off with LB Thunder burying Sir Whisky and Gottocha Bob in the 6½ Furlongs sprint for Class E Horses, covering the circuit in 1:27 flat while romping to a seven lengths victory.
Meddling Birdie took the second race on the card, a 7 Furlongs run for Class D Horses. He had a winning time of 1:35.2, avenging a loss to Yes By Eric in March and Buy, Buy, Buy in February. Mark It A Wynn rounded out the field. Go Pancho Go of St. Thomas was scratched.