By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
For the third time in four years a St. Thomas horse has claimed the prestigious $20,000 Premier’s Cup before a large audience at the Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cow’s Bay.
A race that began as a breakneck duel between Tortola debutants Majestic Express and Apollo Sky after setting a blistering pace—22.1 at the quarter and the half in 47.0 after Admission scratched—changed with two and a half Furlongs left, as Break Up The Game began a charge that eroded Tortola’s Majestic Express’ lead and Apollo Sky fell off the early torrid pace.
Break Up The Game came charging off the turn at the top of the stretch and kept cutting into Majestic Express’ lead, taking control in the final 1/8th of a mile to win the 1-1/8 Miles feature race in 1 minute 56.0.
“”This is a huge win for us,” noted Stanley Smith. “We knew those two horses were going to go out on the front end and we decided we would stay there and stay steady but they were going fast. Victor (Santiago) is a professional rider and he said we have the best kick coming home. But winning the Premier’s Cup is special. We won Boxing Day on St. Croix. We won the Governor’s Cup. So we have the three big ones now.”
In the next big payday, Still Unbroken overhauled Halo’s Midas Touch—who led most of the way—in the Angel “Scratchie” Malone Memorial 1-1/16 Mile run for Class A and B horses with a $12,000 purse sponsored by James Todman Construction. Trading Secrets another debutant placed third with Edge Ahead well off the pace.
Really Up Town sped to a 5 Furlongs track record of 59.2 in the $10,000 Skelton Development Open Sprint Classic. He beat back debutant Kanavayen and St. Thomas’ Mae Ruler, trailed by Game Keeper.
Tortola’s Kaylen Wild Cat opened the card with a victory from the pole in the Monroe Thomas Memorial 6 Furlongs race for Class D and E horses, with a time of one minute 20.4 to claim the Lion’s share of the $4000 purse. Joshua was second with St. Thomas’ Dehroadismine as the show horse.
Star Ship Titan made a successful debut to claim the BVI Tourist Board’s Allen “Tiger’ Hodge Memorial over 7 Furlongs for Class D horses which offered $5000 in prizes. He had a time of one minute 30.1 to turn back St. Thomas’ Benny’s South Street, Torento and Power Ten. Good Boy Daddy was scratched.
St. Thomas’ Daddy’s Dream broke the gate before he could be loaded in the 7 Furlongs Axel Ritter Special for Class D horses sponsored by Donna Christiansen and Basil Ottley. He was reloaded then cut into Tortola’s Fort Pyramid’s lead to place second with a spirited run. Fort Pyramid had a gate to wire victory in the $5000 race and finished with a time of 1:30.4.
St. Thomas Daddy’s Dream was the show horse followed by Appealing Son. Tortola’s Mark It A Wynn finished ahead of St. Thomas’ Weir’s Gap. St. Croix’s Joyfull Minister was scratched.
In the Ellis Thomas Memorial One Mile for Class C and D Mares and Fillies, Miss Homer took out the race sponsored by Hon. Julian Fraser and was followed by Orithyia. In the stretch run, Selina’s So Mad came from three lengths off the pace to run past Orithyia and the fading Miss Homer just before the line in to earn the bulk of the $5,500 purse. This was done before she gave handlers a hard time getting into the gate then threw off her jockey Hiram Rivera before dragging her handler. St. Croix’s Pa Pa Pa Perfect was scratched.
Tortola’s Sin Mirar Atras made a successful debut with a gate to wire victory in the Hon. Marlon Penn and CCT Global Communications $6000 Randolph “Jawa” Hesky Memorial 1 Mile for Class C horses. Sin Mirar Atras, who ran the half in 52.1, wash chased early on by Warriors Cove. Buy, Buy, Buy began making a back stretch move, then came charging off the top to the turn but Sin Mirar Atras held him of to win in 1:47.4. Mr. Gold Prospect scratched.
Stephen Got Better bested the field in the Jerriel Thomas Memorial Handicap 1 Mile Open for Class A and B horses sponsored by Hon. Myron Walwyn. He had a time 1:46.1. Holy Barbra finished ahead of Southern Dunn, while Don’t Hook My Halo was scratched.