By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Good weather prevailed on Sunday, after the Boxing Day races were rained out followed by two other rescheduled cancellations, as a BVI Horse Racing Association card returned to action at the Ellis Thomas Downs, with depleted fields, the second of seven races scratched and a sparse crowd.
Jockey Nick Goodman closed the card with Courage and Honor taking the feature after winning the opener, joining Christian Santiago in snatching two victories. Female jockey Cindy Soto returned and claimed a victory.
“The trainer said let him break and see how he goes and he broke really sharp and I was able to sit and wait with the lead horse and stay a little bit off him,” Godman explained after Courage and honor won in 1:52.4, ahead of Salsa Jack and early leader Barrabas Key who faded badly in the race that saw the St. Thomas duo of Thulean and Totally Evil scratching from the 1-1/6 Miles William Rhymer feature race. “And when it was time to go, he went on and did his business. I pretty much knew going in to the final turn because the four horse (Salsa Jack) wasn’t gaining on me and I still had a lot of horse left. For him to come and beat me, he would have had to run really hard to come and close. If he had come, my horse would have kept going because he had something left going down the lane.”
Goodman won the day’s first race over 6½ Furlongs aboard Uncle Mace, ahead of God’s Greatness, Freckle De Freak and My Song Venezuelan, in 1:25.4.
After a second placed finish on St. Thomas’ God’s Greatness in the opener behind Goodman on Uncle Mace, Cindy Soto who returned to the BVI for the first time in four years where she was victorious in her last outing, led Flashing Cat to a gate to wire victory over Moonlight Bandit in 1:48.0. Gottcha Blessings pulled up lame on the back stretch. Three entries were scratched.
“I’m so happy for this victory and glad to be back,” Soto said.
Jockey Carlos Quinones guided Holy Giacomo to victory in the fourth race by overhauling Special Counsel who established the pace before running by the early leader. Holy Giacomo had a winning time of 1:47.3.
In the second race, after initially placing second on Formal Talent of St. Thomas, Soto was relegated to third, after her horse forced St. Thomas’ Jordan’s Salsa to go wide on the second turn of their One Mile race. Christian Santiago took advantage of the tactical error, grabbed the rail and went on to victory on My Running Mate of St. Thomas, in 1:48.0. Jordan’s Salsa Jockey Goodman called a foul on Soto and Formal Talent, which was upheld, relegating Formal Talent to third and elevating Jordan’s Salsa to second.