Since assuming operations of Caymanas Park in 2017, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) has invested billions of dollars in rebranding and revolutionizing the park as well as improving the commercial route to market strategy. The company’s latest investment comes in the form of a strategic partnership with market research company Bluedot Insights to conduct a comprehensive survey to gain insights into the industry locally.

According to Solomon Sharpe SVREL Executive Chairman, the company’s unwavering vision is to make making the premier destination of racing and entertainment in the region.

“Over the past seven years we’ve consulted with our stakeholders and made significant investments into improving the overall racing product. We’re very proud of what we have achieved so far. Even with the success and the enduring popularity of Caymanas Park and horseracing in Jamaica, we know there’s still more work to be done. Understanding our customers is at the core of our strategy. With that as our mission, we’ve engaged Bluedot Insights to conduct a comprehensive island wide consumer survey on our behalf.

"This survey is aimed at providing us with verifiable data from sports bettors, racing stakeholders and the general public that will further guide our strategic decisions and investments that will bring us further towards our ultimate goal – to make Caymanas Park the premier destination of racing and entertainment in the Caribbean,” said Sharpe.

“Our vision for Caymanas Park and the horseracing industry in Jamaica is one of growth and innovation. We will continue to invest in the park, introducing new features and enhancements that elevate the experience for all our visitors. Our commitment to the community and the sport remains steadfast, and we are excited about the future,” he added.

It was disclosed that Bluedot will provide a comprehensive report presenting quantitative and qualitative findings that details consumer profiles highlighting demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics. This will be done in three phases.

"Bluedot aims to use our skills and expertise to provide SVREL with comprehensive insights that will be pivotal in allowing SVREL to refine their marketing strategies, customize their offerings to align with consumer preferences, and nurture stakeholder relationships essential for advancing the horse racing business," stated Bluedot CEO Larren Peart.

SVREL's investments in Caymanas Park have spanned various areas, from infrastructure upgrades like the installation of the largest digital tote board in the Caribbean and implementation of AmTote totalizer system, improved product offerings such as the new bet type options like Reggae-6 and Ketch-9 as well as fixed odds betting, to the integration of cutting-edge technology like the recently launched GMax digital timing system.

Having delivered according to expectations over the past two years, the hierarchy of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) have promised that this year’s third edition of the Mouttet Invitational Mile will be the best yet, as they announced three changes to the conditions for its marquee event.

Those three changes include the allocation of 10 starting stalls for horses domiciled in Jamaica before January 1, 2024, with six starting stalls now being allocated to horses not domiciled in Jamaica before January 1, 2024, while the winners of the Jamaica Derby, Jamaica Cup, Philip Feanny Gold Cup, and the Port Royal Sprint will gain automatic entry in the Mouttet Mile.

The first two changes represent a shift from last year’s conditions when 12 stalls were reserved for horses domiciled in Jamaica before January 1, 2024, and four for horses not domiciled in Jamaica before January 1, 2024.

These changes by the promoting company are in addition to reaffirming the Mouttet Mile’s status as the most lucrative single racing event in the English-speaking Caribbean with a staggering increase in purse from US$150,000 to US$250,000 ($38,000,000 Jamaican), which was announced earlier this year.

Chris Wills, SVREL’s acting general manager of operations, said it is only fitting that the promoting company surpasses its own milestone set last year when they had overseas-based jockeys and horses to add to the excitement that was livestreamed in the United States on Fox5.

This year’s edition of the Mouttet Mile, a Grade One race for three-year-olds and up over one mile (1,600m), is scheduled for December 7, when the promoting company aims to build on the momentum gained last year.

 “When we first conceptualized the idea of hosting a race day at Caymanas Park that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with most of the prestigious events on the global racing calendar, it seemed like it was an audacious dream. However, with the approval of our board, we set to turn this dream into a reality.

“Of course, every ambitious endeavour requires the support of dedicated partners, and we were fortunate to get the backing of the Mouttet family, who not only shared our vision, but also provided the crucial support which was needed to kick start this incredible journey. Their belief in our vision enabled us to offer the largest purse ever in the English-speaking Caribbean,” Wills said during a press conference in Kingston on Tuesday.

“Since the first staging of the Mouttet Mile, I think it's fair to say the race has become the most anticipated race day in the Caribbean. It has raised the bar for what is possible for a standard we can deliver right here in Jamaica. The success of the first year was just the beginning. So, as we look ahead to 2024, I'm thrilled to announce that the best is yet to come. We are pulling out all the stops to make the third running of the Mouttet Mile Invitational an unforgettable event,” he added.

Aside from the Mouttet Mile, Gary Peart, chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited, pointed to the significance of sustained partnerships to shape the future of the overall racing product and the industry on a whole.

“Our mantra has been harmony and until all the stakeholders in horse racing come together in harmony, we will not truly realize the potential of horse racing. Most of the stakeholders are here, the only one that is outstanding is the government, and I'm appealing to my stakeholders, let's come together in harmony and let's walk and sit with the government because we think that Caymanas can not only change the fortunes of our stakeholders in horse racing, but the country on a whole,” Peart declared, as his hinted at the possibility of attracting more overseas patrons for this year’s event.

“Last year we were able to cut a deal to get Mouttet Mile on Fox Sports, and for the first time, horse racing from Jamaica was live on mainstream TV in the United States.

“It's very important, because if the experts at Jamaica Tourist Board and their team can see the potential of what a day of Caymanas Park is like, then it tells me to convince the rest of the ecosystem here and internationally that it is not going to be that great of a challenge,” he noted.

Meanwhile, SVREL’s executive chairman, Solomon Sharpe, who is overseas, lent his voice to proceedings, as he too promised that this year’s edition will again raise the bar to higher heights.

With another display of his tremendous riding prowess, Jamaican-born United States-based jockey Shaun Bridgmohan registered his first ever win on Jamaican soil, with a come-from-behind effort aboard Phillip Feanny’s Fearless Soul, in Division One of the George HoSang Trophy at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

Bridgmohan’s 4-1/2 lengths triumph with the four-year-old chestnut colt, in the Restricted Allowance IV contest for native-bred four-year-olds and upward (non-winners of three) and imported four-year-olds and upward (non-winners of two), over five and a half furlongs (1,100m), marked another milestone in a decorated career –his 3,400th career win –and where better to have secured it that in the land of his birth.

The 44-year-old jockey, a Spanish Town native, who migrated to the United States at age of 13, dedicated the win to his father Gerald, who was unable to make the trip.

“It is nice to come down here and win a race. I want to thank my trainer Mr. Feanny for giving me the opportunity to ride a nice little horse today. Obviously, I couldn’t mess it up because he had him in great shape, so all I had to do was just keep him out of trouble,” Bridgmohan told SportsMax in a post-race interview.

“I watched him (Fearless Soul) race the last time he won, and he seemed like he was a much better horse on the outside, so my strategy going in was just to keep him wide and give him a clear path. When I pushed the trigger, he accelerated so fast and I thought I asked him a little too soon, but I just followed through. Dad this one is for you, and I love you,” he added.

Breaking from the number two draw, Bridgmohan and Fearless Soul, the 4-5 favourite, were slow from the gate and their trouble was compounded as they were crowded for space in the early exchanges.

With Strike Smart (Phillip Parchment) and Loyal Action (Tevin Foster) setting some decent early fractions of 23.2 and 47.2 seconds, it wasn’t until they left the half-mile (800m) point, that Bridgmohan and Fearless Soul found some racing room, and launched their attack from there.

After Strike Smart turned for home first, Bridgmohan and Fearless Soul entered the stretch run three wide with Royal Ash (Raddesh Roman) for company. However, with just a few more shake of the hands, followed by a flash of the whip by Bridgmohan, Fearless Soul easily rounded rivals and sprinted away in the final furlong to win in a final time of 1:07.2.

Strike Smart, Royal Ash and She’s Myhedgefund (Trevor Simpson), completed the frame behind the Balkrishen Sagan-Maraj-owned charge.

Meanwhile, Tevin Foster, who starred on the day with a dazzling four-timer, won Division Two of the George HoSang Trophy aboard Paul Swaby’s Kem in a time of 1:08.2.

His other winners on the nine-race programme were Howard Jaghai;s Speed On Wheels in the Eight Thirty Sprint; She’s A Godgift for trainer Leroy Tomlinson, and the Rohan Crichton-conditioned Bern Notice.

A facile victory to open his account on December 17, was a clear indicator of Intrestntimesahead’s immense potential, and so it came as no surprise that the Jason DaCosta-trained charge left rivals in his wake to top the Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL)-sponsored Jamaica Two-year-old stakes over a mile (1,600 metres) at Caymanas Park on Tuesday.

Piloted by the bustling Phillip Parchment, Intrestntimesahead romped the 10-horse Futurity contest –in which he was one of only two colts in the field–by three lengths and pocketed the $4 million purse for his connections.

Sent off at odds of 9-1, Intrestntimesahead, running from the number six draw, was held off the pace in fifth by Parchment, as stablemate Banadura (Robert Halledeen) dominated proceedings, with Matuso (Raddesh Roman) for company down the backstretch.

Comehometome (Reyan Lewis), and Run Julie Run (Omar Walker) were also in touching distance, as the leaders approached the half-mile mark, and it was at that point that Parchment got Intrestntimesahead into his running.

When they left there and headed towards the stretch run, Run Julie Run took aim at Banadura, and easily swept by the longtime leader as they straightened, but by then, Intrestntimesahead, had hit top stride and burst through on the rails.

From there, the writing was on the walls, as the Bold Conquest -My Friend Lucy charge, owned by Elizabeth DaCosta, covered the distance in a 1:39.2, behind splits of 24.0, 46.3 and 1:13.1.

Run Julie Run stayed on for second, with Fastnfuriouslinks (Javaniel Patterson) and Buttercup (Tevin Foster) completing the frame.

Meanwhile, veteran rider Oneil Mullings topped his peers with winners on the 10-race Boxing Day card. Mullings won the first and eighth events aboard Lion Talk for trainer Ryan Williams and Ricardo Brown’s City Hawk.

Trainer Alford Brown believes the presence of Japanese-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto in Jamaica for the Mouttet Mile could be a learning moment for young riders, in particular, provided they grasp the opportunity to engage the reinsman when he visits Caymanas Park.

Fukumoto, who migrated to Canada from Japan in 2015 and rides at the Woodbine racetrack in the North American country, is said to be a big fan of Jamaica’s racing, and by virtue of his close relationship with veteran Shane Ellis, decided to grace local horsemen with his presence at the lucrative Mouttet Mile Invitational scheduled for December 2.

For Brown, who has booked Fukumoto’s services for two rides on that day, the hope is that the jockey’s visit will go beyond entertainment purposes, given the experience and knowledge he could impart to local riders based on his journey so far.

 “He was always eager to come here. So, the opportunity arose, and he jumped on it, purchased his own plane ticket and the promoters got involved by ensuring that he will be comfortable when he gets here,” Brown shared.

“It’s a very good thing for the punter's sake, for racing itself and the entertainment that it provides. More importantly, with the international jockeys being here, they could also teach some of our local riders a thing or two because you know, you learn every day and it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, there is always room for improvements, so it is just a matter of whether or not they are willing to learn,” he told SportsMax.TV.

For two years, Fukumoto studied English throughout the week and spent weekends hanging around at the track trying to catch a break. That break eventually came when trainer Reade Baker gave him a job as a groom.

From there, Fukumoto debuted as an apprentice rider in 2017 and rode his first winner on October 13 that year, his 20th birthday.

Though still fairly young, his career profile on Equibase shows Fukumoto boast a wealth of experience in the saddle with 2,586 starts, including 273 wins, 267 seconds, and 290 third-place finishes. He has career earnings of $10,949,852.

Last year, Fukumoto tallied 55 wins, with his best year in the saddle being 2020 when he rode 69 winners. His tally so far this year stands at 21 winners.

Fukumoto’s visit falls in line with Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe and team’s ambitions to expand Jamaica’s racing presence on the international market by having high profile overseas personalities grace the track.

Renowned Gulfstream Park race announcer Peter Aiello recently made an appearance on the Jamaica Cup race card.

Brown agreed that having international jockeys and commentators at the track serves as an endorsement of sorts and only augurs well for Jamaica’s racing product, especially with the Mouttet Mile set to be streamed live in the United States on Fox 5.

“I think with such a high calibre jockey coming down to ride on that day, and the fact that we are going to be televised internationally, is a good look for us and our racing. It will also draw the attention of other riders to maybe one day take up the offer to come to Jamaica and experience our racing, so it can only go forward from here,” Brown noted.

 

Renowned Gulfstream Park race announcer Peter Aiello has lauded Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe and his team for the direction in which they are taking Jamaica’s horseracing product.

In fact, Aiello, who will be making his debut at Caymanas Park on Saturday during the third running of the Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL)-sponsored Jamaica Cup, believes the potential for growth is very much on the cards, provided the promoters remains committed to their objectives.

SVREL took over promotion of racing in 2017 and has invested significantly as a means of driving the product forward. The broadcasting of their signal to overseas markets, the implementation of a solar power system, a partnership with New York-based Bridge99Fm, as well as the Australian-based BetMakers Technology group to offer Fix Odds betting, are among SVREL’s milestone achievements to date.

 “I am a huge fan of it. Since I have been here, I’ve kind of been picking everybody’s brain operationally speaking because that’s how my mind works, and everything just seems to be up. There are some really forward-thinking ideas, and one thing I like about it, it seems like it is more of a methodical approach where they are playing the long game,” Aiello assessed.

“It is not a scenario where somebody tries something, and it doesn’t work right away, and they give up on it. I think that is really important and I think it is something that the US racetracks are guilty of, they give up too soon. So, I really like the long-term projection, they are starting to see some positive results and I am happy to do what I can to make sure they continue on that positive, upward trend,” he told SportsMax.TV.

Aiello, a familiar voice in the world of horse racing, is associated with some of the most prestigious horse racing events in the 

United States. He expressed delight about bringing his expertise to one of Jamaica’s most highly anticipated race days.

The Jamaica Cup is the last significant event before the lucrative Mouttet Mile Invitational scheduled for December 2. In addition to the main event, the undercard will have eight high-stakes races contested by top horses, jockeys, and trainers.

“I have been a fan of Jamaican horse racing for probably two or three years now. Once Supreme Ventures made it available in the US, I caught on to it and really fell in love with it, so it is nice to actually be here,” Aiello said.

“I was looking back at the race card earlier and there are some really good races tomorrow. The Jamaica Cup is going to be exciting and “Spuddy” [Brian Rickman] and I have a nice surprise for everybody so make sure you tune in. But there is another race on the card that seems super exciting and that’s Desert of Malibu up against American Tap and Rani Bangala, that is a heck of a race, that is a championship quality race. So, the seventh and eighth races are what I am really excited about,” he added.

Regarding the Mouttet Mile, which will be streamed live in the United States on Fox 5, Aiello said it speaks volumes of the significant strides Jamaica’s racing has made.

“I think it is great, and I am hopeful that we can get some of the American influence behind it. I know Solomon Sharpe and the team are working to get as much influence as they can, but I think it’s a great thing and I am certainly willing to help as much as I can. The race will be shown on Fox 5 in the US this year which is great because that is the exposure that Jamaican racing needs,” Aiello noted.

“The purse is allegedly going up next year, so if the purse goes up, I think it is just going to be a situation where the horsemen and jockeys are going to have to take note of the state of the calendar and hopefully, we can get a worldwide experience, which would mean everybody wins,” he reasoned.

And with this being his first time in Jamaica, Aiello is relishing the experience.

“They are doing a great job of getting me to enjoy all these great Jamaican foods and I have to say I am going to be a bit disappointed that I won't be able to get a callaloo patty and some bammy when I get home," Aiello ended.

Madelyn's Sunshine used her superior pace to good effect, as she disposed of rivals and captured the three-year-olds and upward Overnight Allowance contest for the Kaz Hoshay Trophy on the 10-race card at Caymanas Park on Saturday. 

Piloted by leading rider Reyan Lewis, the Jason DaCosta-trained Madelyn’s Sunshine, in only her second run off an almost five-month layup, showed that she is back to her competitive best. She won the six furlongs (1,200m) event by five-and-three-quarter lengths in a tidy 1:13.0 minutes, setting splits of 23.0 and 46.3 seconds.

After coming from off the pace behind Canadian American Tap over the five straight on last, Duke with Robert Halledeen was expected to play a starring role in the event which carried a purse of $1.25 million. This, as Madelyn’s Sunshine and a few others in the 14-horse field, was behind him in that same race won by American Tap.  

However, DaCosta’s four-year-old dark bay filly under a confident ride by Lewis, went straight in front shortly and repelled the challenge of Hoist The Mast (Paul Francis), Laban (Phillip Parchment), and KP Choice (Javaniel Patterson) in the run to the half-mile turn.

From there, the Carlton Watson-owned Madelyn's Sunshine was relaxed by Lewis, opening an almost three-length gap on her pursuers, and by the time she straightened for the stretch run, it became a question of how far she would win.

Laban finished second, as Race Car (Raddesh Roman) and Curlin’s Affair (Tevin Foster), completed the frame.

DaCosta said the winning run was always on the cards based on the filly's preparation.

"She trained exactly for this race, so we expected a good run from her. The time she won in was pretty decent which is no surprise because she has always been a talented filly it's just that she had her little problems but when she is good, she is good and the jockey rode her as expected," the leading trainer said after the event.

Lewis earlier won aboard Simba The Lion and Atlantic Convoy in the second and ninth events respectively, both over a mile (1,600m) for trainer Patrick Lynch.

Meanwhile, former three-time champion trainer Anthony "Baba" Nunes and Foster partnered for a double on the day. They won the sixth and eighth races with Wow How and Savvy Girl.

With the race card scheduled for Sunday being abandoned, the next scheduled race day will be next Saturday. It will feature the Jamaica Cup which represents a preparation race for prospects, who will possibly contest the lucrative Moutett Mile scheduled for early next month.

As expected, Mahogany produced a telling performance to win a $1.4-million three-year-old and upward Open Allowance contest with consummate ease, as he signalled some semblance of readiness for the lucrative Mouttet Mile.

In fact, the run by the Ian Parsard trainee at five furlongs (1,000m) round at Caymanas Park on Saturday, was almost like an exercise given the manner in which he was tenderly handled by jockey Robert Halledeen, and even then, the 6-1/2 lengths victory was completed in a brisk 59.3 seconds. His splits were 23.3 and 46.2 seconds.

Much was said of a potential stretch duel between Mahogany and American-bred Is That A Fact, who was hunting a fifth-consecutive win. But Mahogany, coming off a Gold Cup loss to She’s My Destiny, had no equals on this occasion.

Though a shade slowly out the box, the Sensational Slam -Mete-Orite progeny, coupled up quickly and was sent straight to the front by Halledeen and from there, it was the six-year-old chestnut gelding against the clock.

Jordan Reign's (Dane Dawkins), Is That A Fact (Reyan Lewis), and Freedom Street (Roger Hewitt), were all left in Mahogany’s wake, especially when he turned for home and was briefly asked for a response by Halledeen.

Freedom Street and Jordan Reign's were second and third, while Is That A Fact, who initially placed second, was disqualified and placed fourth for causing interference to rivals in the battle for the minor placing.

Meanwhile, Digital One made in two-in-two when she won the $2-million Hover Craft Sprint feature contest.

Piloted by leading rider Reyan Lewis, the Jason DaCosta-trained charge topped the Restricted Stakes contest for native-bred and imported two-year-olds, by 6-1/4 lengths and covered six furlongs (1,200m) in 1:13.3.

Parsard’s Run Julie Run (Omar Walker) and Blu Sensation (Oneil Mullings) and Rosetta (Youville Pinnock), completed the frame.

Lewis earlier guided Leroy Tomlinson’s Victoriasmedallion to victory in the second race, while trainer Gary Griffiths, topped his peers with two winners in Turnonthelight (Tevin Foster) in the first and Here Comes Doc (Anthony Allen) in the sixth event.

Racing continues on Sunday.

Canadian-bred American Tap, under steady guidance from jockey Tevin Foster, earned her first victory on Jamaican soil with powerful debut performance that left rivals struggling in the $1.25 million Nigel B Nunes Memorial Cup feature at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

Much like she did at exercise, the six-year-old bay mare, who is one of six overseas horses expected to line up in the lucrative Mouttet Mile in December, displayed pace and class in a comfortable 4-3/4 lengths win, in the three-year-olds and upward Non-Restricted Overnight Allowance contest for over five furlongs (1,000m) straight.

Conditioned by Howard Jaghai, American Tap, running from the wide number 13 draw in the 15-horse field, and quickly match strides with Ultimate Machine (Dane Dawkins), True Bravado (Phillip Parchment), and Press Conference (Richard Henry), in the early exchanges.

By the time the sort themselves out and came across the dummy rails, the Tapiture -American Castle mare, American Tap proved the superior speed, and with very little reminders from Foster, she briskly pulled away and powered home to justify the 1-2 favouritism.

American Tap stopped the clock in an eye-catching 58.2 seconds, after splits of 23.1 and 46.0 seconds, and the fact that she literally cantered the latter stages of the contest, all but indicates her credentials for what could be a fruitful outing in Jamaica.

Press Conference, Ring Charmer (Roger Hewitt) and Duke (Allan Maragh) completed the frame.

American Tap completed a double for Foster, who earlier piloted the Anthony Nunes-trained Captain Calico to victory in the seventh event.

Another in-form rider, Raddesh Roman, also had a double with Ricardo Brown’s KP Choice in the second event and From Sheer To Ben conditioned by Alford Brown in the ninth and final contest.

The seemingly unstoppable combination of leading rider Reyan Lewis and champion trainer Jason DaCosta continued to wreak havoc on their pursuers as the two swept another feature contest, the Arthur Jones Memorial Cup, at Caymanas Park on Saturday. 

They teamed up with the Carlton Watson-owned three-year-old American-bred bay colt Is That A Fact, who easily took apart Overnight Allowance rivals first time up in class, over six furlongs (1,200m).

In fact, Is That A Fact, was one of three winners on the 10-race card for the inform Lewis, who moved his tally this season to 73 wins and holds a commanding 17-race lead over reigning champion Dane Dawkins.

The Palace Malice - Valid Code Progeny Is That A Fact, entered the contest overwhelmingly favoured to secure the hat-trick, and that he did with consummate ease.

After being hustled early to join and later overtake Rojorn Di Pilot (Omar Walker) on the headlines, Lewis and Is That A Fact, were always comfortable, especially leaving the half-mile and from there it was a question of how far he would beat his eight rivals.

The answer, a resounding 7 1/4 lengths being eased at the end, as his more experienced rivals, had no response to Is That A Fact's devastating stretch kick that propelled him to a decent time of 1:13.0, after splits of 23.1 and 47.1 seconds.

Rojorn Di Pilot stayed on for second, fending off I’ve Got Magic (Phillip Parchment), while Taurus Boy (O'Neil Mullings) completed the frame.

Lewis’s other victories were Ali, in the first event –handing new trainer Donwell Dawes his first victory – and Patrick Lynch's Simba The Lion in the fifth race.

Lynch also saddled two winners Select Me (Ramon Nepare), who won the second event.

Meanwhile, Dawkins, determined to retain his title, had two winners on the card — Slam Dunk in the fourth race and Money Box in the final event, both for trainer Gary Subratie.

Racing continues on Sunday.

 

Champion trainer Jason DaCosta and leading rider Reyan Lewis picked up where they left off prior to the cancellation of last weekend's race cards, as they combined for a double which highlighted a short six-race trophyless programme that marked the return of live racing to Caymanas Park on Saturday.
 
The duo teamed up with three-year-old American-bred bay colt Is That A Fact, who made it two wins on the trot when he brushed rivals in a Restricted Stakes contest for imported three-year-olds and upward (non-winners of three) and native-bred three-year-olds and four-year-olds (non-winners of four), over six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m).
 
The Carlton Watson-owned Is That A Fact (Palace Malice – Valid Code), bided his time just off the lead before asserting authority in the stretch run where he easily shook the attention of Acknowledgeme (Ramon Nepare) in what was brief duel.
 
In the end, Is That a Fact had his main challenger six lengths behind with the Anthony Nunes pair of Royal Ash (Matthew Bennett) and Legit Boss (Tevin Foster), completing the frame. The winning time was 1:22.1, behind splits of 23.2, 47.1 and 1:14.0.
 
DaCosta and Lewis then closed their double with five-year-old American-bred bay mare Lure of Lucy, in the $1.14 million top-rated Overnight Allowance main event for three-year-olds and upward over five furlongs (1,000m) straight.
 
Lure of Lucy was always early from the wide number 11 draw in the early exchanges under a comfortable hold from Lewis, who later used her crippling mid-race pace to good effect to leave Power Ranking (Dane Dawkins), Luksol (Jordan Barrett) and the troublesome Freedom Street (Javaniel Patterson) in her wake at the end. Lure of Lucy won by two and a half lengths in 1:00.4, with splits of 23.3 and 47.1 seconds.
 
Meanwhile, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Azan and former three-time champion jockey Anthony Thomas, also registered a double on the day.
 
Azan saddled Manoushe (Jawara Steadman) in the second race and Burlap (Allen Maragh) in the fourth race, while Thomas won the first race aboard Select Me for trainer Patrick Lynch and the third race aboard Powerofherhigness for owner-trainer Oral Hayden.

Though there has been no official word on the outcome of previous negotiations between horsemen and promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), both parties seem to have found common ground for the most parts, as live racing is set to return to Caymanas Park on Saturday by way of a six-race card.

This follows the cancellation of races on July 15 and 16, after the Patrick Smellie-led United Racehorse Trainers' Association of Jamaica (URTAJ) opted not to nominate as a show of their discontent to the promoting company’s offer of a $27-million purse increase.

Following a meeting on Monday, Smellie and a majority of his counterparts declared intentions to again withhold nominations, if SVREL doesn’t offer a more attractive purse increase, which all but signalled the possibility of another cancelled race day.

However, a meeting between representatives of the Howard Hamilton-led Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the promoting company, also held on Monday, seemingly broke the deadlock.

The owners' group during that meeting, recommended that SVREL’s overpayment of taxes on $6.2 billion in sales initially reported, amounting to what should be approximately $41.7 million in rebates, be put to purse money for 2023, along with the $18 million Quarterly Incentive payments to owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms.

Additionally, TOBA suggested that a three per cent commission earned from inter-tote wagering on local racing, could also be allotted to purses and they also required a full disclosure of SVREL’s arrangement with BetMakers as it relates to fixed-odds betting, with a view that a percentage of those profits should also put to purses going forward.

While SVREL chairman Solomon Sharpe and members of his team had requested time to take those recommendations into consideration, the nomination of horses to allow for this weekend's short programme, implies that some inroads have been made.

But Smellie when contacted, pointed out that he is not aware of any changes where their demands for a more substantial increase is concerned. As such, he expressed strong disappointment with his colleagues who nominated horses.

“I don't know what changed. Nothing has changed between us and Supreme Ventures Racing, so I'm very disappointed in about 50 per cent of the trainers that nominated horses, I don't think they know where we are going. We were fighting for something for the benefit of all grooms, trainers, owners, and horsemen at Caymanas Park,” a vexed Smellie said.

“Never in the history of Caymanas Park we had so much people together, but I understand that there was some rumours going around that Howard Hamilton had said on national radio that people must nominate. So somebody started that rumour and got some weak knee trainers jumping and I guess they started to nominate. So, to say disappointed is an understatement,” he added.

Still, the URTAJ president took heart from the fact that his group and those it represents, achieved its objective in making a statement.

“We have observed the myopic thinking of the promoters and some of these trainers. So we are here, we are going to gather again and have a meeting shortly and see where we move from here because if they want to race for 3.5 percent increase then they can do so.

“I thank all the trainers and owners that stood up and fight the cause because those other four races could have been filled if these guys didn't stand up and fight for what they believe in,” Smellie argued.

While efforts have been made to arrive at a resolution and, by extension, ensure a speedy return of live racing at Caymanas Park, the purse standoff between promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) and horsemen remains at a deadlock and threatens the cancellation of another race meet.

This, as United Racehorse Trainers' Association of Jamaica (URTAJ) president Patrick Smellie and his counterparts declared intentions to again withhold nominations, if SVREL doesn’t offer a more attractive purse increase instead of the $27 million that was already rejected and resulted in the cancellation of races on July 15 and 16.

“We the trainers have decided that we are still not accepting the $27 million increase in purse money from SVREL because there is an anomaly in the numbers based on why we signed for 49 per cent. So, we are still questioning why that has happened and the trainers have decided that they will not run races for $27 million and so no nomination tomorrow [Tuesday],” the URTAJ president declared.

Though Smellie and members of his group had discussions among themselves, their decision stems from a meeting between representatives of the promoting company, including chairman Solomon Sharpe, and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) of Jamaica on Monday, where the horsemen maintained their stance against the inadequate amount.

In fact, TOBA, represented by directors Andrew Azar, Garwin Tulloch and vice-president Desmond Lewis, accompanied by Chief Executive Officer, Ainsley Walters, made a few recommendations, as they sought to have SVREL consider increasing its offer.

Despite the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) confirming SVREL’s income as $5.3 billion and not the $6.2 billion which sparked the standoff, TOBA in a release on Monday, pointed out that it laid down a few terms as a possible way forward.

The owners group recommended that SVREL’s overpayment of taxes on $6.2 billion in sales initially reported, amounting to what should be approximately $41.7 million in rebates, be put to purse money for 2023, along with the $18 million Quarterly Incentive payments to owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms.

Additionally, TOBA believes a three per cent commission earned from inter-tote wagering on local racing, could also be allotted to purses and they also required a full disclosure of SVREL’s arrangement with BetMakers as it relates to fixed-odds betting, with a view that a percentage of those profits should also put to purses going forward.

Meanwhile, TOBA said it acknowledges SVREL’s request for time to analyze and consider the recommendations tabled.

“Though SVREL acknowledged TOBA’s recommendations, committing to re-engage the association, the promoting company cited circumstances beyond their control as external factors to be considered ahead of resuming discussions. TOBA awaits SVREL’s return to dialogue in order to hasten the resumption of local racing as the hub of the thoroughbred industry,” the release stated.

“SVREL added to the discourse by pointing to funds taken from the racing industry unclaimed winnings, which it believes should be returned to purses annually, suggesting TOBA could lead the lobby for racing’s monies to remain in the industry,” it noted, adding that owners were advised to continue paying the expenses for keep and care of horses.

While signaling their interest to head back to the negotiation table, Patrick Smellie, president of the United Racehorse Trainers Association of Jamaica (URTAJ), chided local promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) for being unreasonable in blocking the race course which thwarted trainers from exercising their horses on Wednesday.

Smellie believes the move allegedly by SVREL to place two trucks across the track was their way of showing their discontent after stakeholders in the local horse racing sector rejected a $27-million purse increase offered on Tuesday.

By virtue of that rejection, owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers, and grooms withheld nomination of their horses for racing which resulted in the planned Saturday-Sunday race meets being cancelled.

"That (blocking the track) was totally unreasonable, unconscionable and possibly illegal. We had a meeting this morning while we were here and they came and removed the trucks and are now wetting the surface again which is a good sign that there is a possibility that we may be able to meet at the table again,” Smellie said.

Still, he pointed out that missing exercise could have an effect on the horses.

“It can affect the horse badly because this is not best practices for the animals anywhere in the world and we have spoken with our veterinarians here and they have agreed with us in total that this is not best practice at all. But we are glad that good sense has prevailed, they have removed the truck, and they are wetting and raking the track, so I assume the track will be reopened for exercise tomorrow (Thursday),” Smellie shared.

Smellie and other stakeholders based their rejection of the $27 million purse increase as unacceptable, arguing that SVREL has seen profits of $6.2 billion, but only want to distribute $5.3 billion.

According to Smellie, based on a deed signed by horsemen with SVREL from last year, they are supposed to receive 49 per cent of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). This means that after sales and payout, horsemen are entitled to 49 per cent of what is left and SVREL would keep 51 per cent.

As such, he explained that of the $6.2 billion SVREL makes in sales, according to the regulatory agency, the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), horsemen’s percentage would work out to $168 million and not the $27 million being offered.

On that note, the URTAJ president is awaiting word from the promoting company, inviting stakeholders back into negotiations to rectify the issue.

“They are supposed to call us today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday). Everybody knows we don't agree with their $5.3 billion because we are sticking to the $6.2 billion that the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission have gotten paid from them on their taxes.

“We are open to having dialogue, but our trainers will not be relenting. We are tired of this now, and when you see 120 trainers say no more, along with owners and grooms, then you know that everybody is united to the cause,” Smellie reasoned.

Meanwhile, SVREL in a release on Wednesday, said it is open for dialogue and stands ready to work with owners to have the earliest resumption of live racing.

“Since assuming oversight of Caymanas Park, SVREL, has made significant investments and undertaken extensive measures to improve the racing product and to develop a sustainable industry. Last year, in one such effort to improve the sustainability and stability of the industry, SVREL and key industry owners and trainers arrived at a milestone agreement whereby purses will be 49% of gross game revenue (GGR) on live racing,” the release explained.

“SVREL’s hope was, and still remains, that this GGR agreement will bring a measure of stability to the industry and so it is reiterating its readiness to continue discussions with the owners and trainers and other relevant stakeholders with a view to resolve the issue expeditiously. The company is steadfast in its commitment to horseracing and will continue to invest in the future of the industry,” it stated.

 

 

The 3-2 favourite Blue Vinyl used a devastating last-furlong acceleration to stage a massive win in Sunday’s Jamaica 2000 Guineas at Caymanas Park, giving young rider Raddesh Roman his first ever Classic success.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.