By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Sunday’s horse races on the rain soaked Ellis Thomas Downs, was highlighted by Salsa Jack upsetting St. Thomas’ Thulean, while One Way To Fame and Chovanes raced to a dead in different One Mile races, in the event held in tribute to the late Clinton “Bouncer” Romney.
Thulean, who was seeking his third victory in four starts, had to settle in third place as debutant Salsa Jack controlled the pace along with Courage And Honor. Salsa Jack seized control after the first half mile, with Courage And Honor in tow, before Thulean, who won last month’s Premier’s Cup started marking his charge home, but couldn’t overhaul Salsa Jack, who finished the course in one minute 43.4. Courage And Honor was third followed by My Running Mate of St. Thomas.
“I knew he was coming off the pace, so I relaxed my horse because I knew he was the horse to beat,” jockey Carlos Quinones explained. “I knew I had a good horse and the best thing was to go in front and make my move before he made his. But I had my race set up, since I knew if he came close I’d be in trouble, so I did my job and move at the right time.”
Preceding the feature,One Way To Fame and Chovanes raced to a thrilling dead heat over a Mile that sent officials to the photo finish to confirm the result.
“I field like I had a lot of horse the second time around the track after getting the lead pretty easy and I thought I had the one horse beat,” One Way To Fame Jockey Alex Gonzales said, after navigating the course in 1:44.2 and was followed by St. Thomas’ Barrabas, then Flashing Cat, Moonlight Bandit and Bit Growth. “My horse got a little tired in the last Furlong a little bit, but he ran a good race today.”
Chovanes jockey Roberto Elvarado said he took the lead because he felt it was the best way for his horse to run, then One Way To Fame went by him easily and he thought he’d be beaten.
“My horse has a big heart and came back and catch him,” he said. “It was a good race for both of us. Coming down the stretch, I saw my horse put it head down and kept it there. In my opinion I think I won the race.”
Quinones guided Holy Giacomo to victory in the second of the four One Mile races over Neverenuff D’Oro of St. Thomas. He had a winning time of 1:45.1, Mariealena was third in its debut followed by Nadiae’s Image.
The first of the four One Mile race was won by Sal Jet in 1:44.0. Putting On A Show and Giant Valley followed. Noble Forever, Haylee’s Here and Olympic Bid all of St. Thomas, were scratched.