By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Led by Arturo Watlington Stables who went 4-for-4, St. Thomas horses dominated Sunday’s pre Thanksgiving races at the Ellis Thomas Downs, winning 5/6 that featured all 7 Furlong races and 28 horses competing for $50,000 in prizes.
Watlington’s horses—who didn’t compete in races four and five—capped off their most successful day when Premier’s Cup champ Thulean, sprinted past early leader and St. Thomas counterpart, Totally Evil in the last 1/16th to win in 1 minute 29.1. Tortola’s Salsa Jack and Courage And Honor, were third and fourth respectively.
“We did well. This is one of the best race days we’ve ever had,” Arturo Watlington Jr. noted. “We went 4-for-4 and we ran the other one second. So, we did a good job, a very, very good job. I don’t think anybody has won four races before.”
Thulean Jockey Angel Moreno—who opened the card guiding Wise Warrior to a successful debut victory in the 7 Furlongs race in 1:31.4, as St. Thomas debuting counterpart God’s Greatness made it a 1-2 finish, said he followed the instructions given by trainer Laquan Charleswell and he knew Totally Evil was the fast horse and he followed him around after he took the lead from the gate.
“I tried to do the best I can and we got the job done,” he noted. “At the top of the stretch, coming to the 16th I knew I had them then. My horse was running good and the track was holding good so that helped me a lot to do it.”
After racing to a dead heat in their previous outing the Tortola duo of One Way To Fame and Chovanes went out on a break speed and controlled the first part of the race. St. Thomas Barrabas Key who laid off the pace in the $9,000 race, began making his move on the back stretch and pulled closer to the leaders. By the top of the stretch, he had run past the duo who faded badly and went on to a convincing eight lengths victory in 1:29.0. Sal Jet ran past the tiring Chovanes and One Way To Fame for a St. Thomas 1-2 finish. One Way To Fame hanged on for third place ahead of Moonlight Bandit while Chovanes settled for fifth.
Jose Hernandez rode St. Thomas Faster N Blazes to victory in the second race in 1:32.1. Freckle De Freak was second, edging St. Thomas’ My Song Venezuelan. Nadiae’s Image in fourth, held off No Luck also of St. Thomas, who rounded out the field.
Puttingonashow from St. Thomas, took control on the backstretch in race three, by running past early leader Formal Talent, for a three lengths victory over St. Thomas counterpart Bit Growth to win in 1:30.2. My Running Mate completed a St. Thomas sweep. Formal Talent faded to fourth ahead of debutant WW Handsome.
In the race for Mares and Fillies between Tortola horses, Special Counsel took control from Holy Giacomo, then opened a lead heading off the top of the stretch. The effort he used to pass might have been too much as Carlos Marquez whipped his horse back into the lead in the final Furlong, then Holy Giacomo sprinted past the fading Special Counsel to win in 1:30.2. Special Counsel held off the charging Mariealena to place second. Neverenuff D’Oro of St. Thomas was fourth.