By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
While BVI horses have been walking off with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Governors Cup, St. Croix’s St. Moose extended the USVI’s Islands dominance of the Premier’s Cup, by winning the one and1/8 Miles feature race during the August Festival races at the Ellis Thomas Downs. No BVI horse has been in the winner’s circle since Trevelyan in 2010.
St. Moose, who won the first leg of the Virgin Islands Triple Crown here earlier this year and joined 2013 winner Plotter as the second St. Croix horse taking the coveted title and the bulk of the $15,000 purse, easily won by a six lengths margin in a time of one minute, 58.2.
Break Up the Game, who failed to repeat, finished second but broke his left front foot after stumbling 50 yards before the line. He couldn’t make it back to the stables and had to be put down 40 yards past the finish line, delaying the start of the final race by more than an hour and a half, as they couldn’t get the horse in the trailer. There was no onsite Vet and one had to be called. Chilean Boy was third, followed by Town Hall and Wrol Up—who led the first half of the race.
“This is the second time the Premier’s Cup is going to St. Croix, Plotter won it a couple years ago and it feels good that we could represent here,” James Bates said. “I have to big up the BVI Horse Racing Association for trying their best and we always appreciate what they do for horse racing.”
Pumped Up Kicks had to wait an hour and 35 minutes before he made it St. Thomas’ fifth victory in seven races, when he led the field from gate to wire in the Angel “Scratchie” Malone Memorial one and 1-1/16 mile race by holding of fast charging How’s A Wynner and Trading Secrets. The start was delayed because of the Break Up The Game injury. Pumped Up Kicks had a winning time of 1:54.1, in the $9,000 race.
St. Thomas’ Trust Me kicked off the card by turning back the field in the Monroe Thomas Memorial 6½” Furlongs for Class E Horses. The race offered a $4500 purse and he pocketed the biggest share after holding off Orithyia, to win in 1:27.4. Power Ten was third ahead of LB Thunder and Daddy’s Dream. Debutant Motion For Appeal, was scratched.
Funny Accommodations another St. Thomas horse won the Tortola Concrete Products Axel Ritter Special over One Mile, against his other Class D challengers. Funny Accommodations navigated the two laps race in 1:48.3, denying the BVI’s Southern Dunn the opportunity to cross the line first in the race for $6,000. Sin Mirar Atras was the show horse. He was followed by, D’Pretender and Meddling Birdie. Auston Got Even, scheduled to make its debut, was scratched.
Bitter Sweet Dream gave the BVI its first victory in the fourth race of the day for Mares and Fillies with a $7,500 prize sponsored by the BVI Tourist Board—but had to sweat out a decision after Yourluckytohaveme claimed a foul shortly after coming out the gate. The call wasn’t upheld in the Jerriel Thomas Memorial Handicap 7 Furlongs run. Debutants Scripture and Verse finished well off the pace that was won in 1:31.3
Debutant My Pal Shaun made a decisive move on the backstretch in the 6½ Furlongs BVI Sprint Classic, presented by CCT Life Unlimited, to win in 1:24.2 for the second straight BVI win. Starship Titan held off St. Thomas’ debutant Great Friends Rule, for the show position. Luxury Appeal finished well off the pace. Bling Bling of St. Thomas was scratched.
St. Thomas’ Bar Magic laid off the pace set by Yes By Eric, who opened up a two lengths lead in the Allen “Tiger” Hodge Memorial, that saw horses competing for $6,500 over 7 Furlongs, in the day’s third race. However, It became a stretch run with four horses, as Bar Magic passed Yes By Eric in the last 50 yards to win in one minute, 32.3. Yes By Eric, hanged on to keep St. Thomas’ Coupon in third place and Buy Buy Buy, fourth. St. Croix’s Unguided Missile was fifth and the other Cruzan debutant Little Bart, finished sixth.