By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Thulean has suddenly made the upcoming August Festival races more intriguing, after he stormed back from fourth place and a 10 lengths deficit with two Furlongs left, to upset fellow St. Thomas horse Totally Evil, ending his 10-race winning streak during Sunday’s feature race at the Ellis Thomas Downs.
“On the back stretch, I saw he was slowing down and I thought I could catch him,” said Thulean Jockey Kennel Pellot, who was well off Totally Evil’s blistering pace that grew to 12 lengths on the field, in the $11,500 1-1/16 feature race. “He felt good coming home. I came close to the rail to catch him, before going outside off the turn to catch him. He ran very, very good.”
Totally Evil’s Jockey Winston Hurst said his horse was running comfortable that’s why he looked back to see how far in front he was. “Because he was so comfortable, when I asked him on the back stretch for the last time, he responded,” Hurst noted. “But in the last sixteen, he got leg weary and winded.”
Thulean had a winning time of one minute, 52.1. Moonlight Bandit hanged on for third. Crypto Hold was fourth and Gottcha Blessings, also of St. Thomas, fifth.
Michael “Lou Lou” Smith, said Totally Evil ran a good race, but just got a little tired in the end.
“That’s all that happened,” he said. “It happens like that. We lost today, somebody else was victorious, that’s how horse racing goes. “
Smith is considering him for the Mile and an eight during the August 7 Festival Races.
“Once everything is alright, he’ll go,” Smith said.
Pellot opened the card by steering St. Thomas’ Atra By Me, during a 7 Furlongs sprint for Mares and Fillies, holding off the charge of My Song Venezuelan, also of St. Thomas. He navigated the course in 1:34.4. Queen Grave was third followed by No Luck from St. Thomas.
Preceding the feature, Angel Rodriguez guided King Power of Tortola to victory in the 6½ Furlongs $7500 sprint, for in what would be a split of the Tortola and St. Thomas horse’s victories. He had a winning time of 1:23.2.
St. Thomas debutant Barbara’s Key, finished second followed by Flashing Cat, also of St. Thomas. Sal Jet, another St. Thomas debutant, was fourth and Players Luck rounded out the field.
“Last race day he didn’t run good as we had a lot of little crazy hiccups that didn’t go right,” Alex Lake said of his Gulf Stream import who wasn’t acclimatized then. “I wanted him to get up on the lead, but at the same time, I saw him clashing with Barbara’s Key, so I said they’ll wear each other out. And he kept him right on course then walked away from them.”
Chovanes, with Sammy Jiminez in the irons, took the first 6½ Furlongs in 1:22.3, ahead of Giant Valley. Putting On A Show, finished ahead of his St. Thomas counterpart, Jordan’s Salsa.
Nadiae’s Image won the 7 Furlongs for Mares and Fillies, outdueled Freckle De Frek and Faster N Blaze, to win in 1:30.4.
With St. Thomas counterparts Jack Fallon and Lil Fool being scratched, My Running Mate rode the inside corridor to victory by holding off Tortola’s Center Gold over 7 Furlongs, to win in 1:32.2. Debutant God’s Greatness finished ahead of his St. Thomas counterpart, Formal Talent.
Next up is the August Festival races on Aug 6, marking the first Festival races since Aug 2016. BVI Horse Racing Association President Lesmore Smith said they’re anticipating good races, as there were no races in 2017 because of the August flood and none in 2018 after Hurricane Irma’s damage, and they were unable to mark the 20thanniversary of the track’s 1998 opening.
“I’m looking forward for the races to be great as always, especially with new horses coming in and I know Ellis Thomas Downs won’t have space for all the people,” said Smith, after Sunday’s fifth race since Boxing Day, after he spearheaded the post Irma debris cleanup and restoring the surface. “There will be some good rivalries and I invite everyone to come and see them.”