By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In the most competitive field of horses ever assembled in the territory for a 7 Furlongs race, Honors sat off the pace set by St. Thomas’ Call Daddy, then went on to defend home turf in the Boxing Day feature race at the Ellis Thomas Downs,.
“The race went not exactly as planned,” noted Honors’ owner Alex Lake. “We wanted Honors to go up on the lead but we did tell the jockey if he didn’t get the lead—we knew everybody was crashing for the lead because it’s basically a sprint—to sit him off the pace and he did just that and he rode a wonderful race.”
Call Daddy set the early pace before the real racing began. I’m Sensational, Pumped Up Kicks and Honors passed Call Daddy who ended up not finishing, as the trio took control of the race. Honors began charging off the final turn leading the field on the stretch run and began running away from the pack for a two lengths victory in one minute 31.3. I’m Sensational fought off fast charging Pumped Up Kicks relegating him as the show horse. Integrity was fourth and was followed by Giant Valley and debutant Park Ranger.
The card opened with El Indultado leading a St. Thomas horse sweep, taking a gate to wire victory in the 6½ Furlongs sprint for Class E Horses in one minute 27.1, after holding off fellow St. Thomas horse, Motion to Appeal. Go Pancho Go was third followed by Tortola’s Gottacha Bob. St. Thomas’ El Convidado did not finish while debutant EZ Eddy, Sir Whisky and Dramacidal were all scratched.
In the first of two 7 Furlong races, this one for Class C & D Horses, St. Thomas’ Sparky B set the pace extending his lead to three furlongs but on the back stretch, Gottcha Blessings in his debut, passed the half mile mark in 50 flat and charged passed Sparky B, before being challenged by fellow St. Thomas debutant, DQ Rexter. However, Gottcha Blessings stepped on the gas and opened a two length lead to control the race to the tape, winning in 1:33.0. Tortola’s Meddling Birdie prevented a St. Thomas sweep by nosing out DQ Rexter at the tape. Early leader Sparky B was fourth followed by the Big Meow and Unguided Missile. Both Gus Is Tough and Yes By Eric, were scratched.
The pre race hype between St. Thomas’ Scripture N Verse and Tortola’s Crazy Laura fizzled before the start when Scripture N Verse was scratched in the One Mile run for Mares and Fillies. As they broke the gate, Tortola’s Rags To Riches, running from the third stall, got a bad break from the gate, spun around and threw his jockey off then ran the race that was controlled by Top Class Citizen on his own, as the leader passed halfway in 50 flat. Crazy Laua tried valiantly to cut into Top Class Citizen’s lead on the back stretch and as they came off the turn, jockey less Rags To Riches charged hard to the tape, much to the crowd’s delight but could not control the $5000 purse for the victory as he had no jockey.
Top Class Citizen nosed out Crazy Laura and Academic Probation to win in one minute 52.1.
Totally Evil closed the card with the third victory in five races for a St. Thomas horse, taking the 6 Furlongs Open sprint from Bellamy Chief, Daboluck and American Creed. He had a winning time of 1:17.2.