whilst the crowd swelled to it’s usual proportions in time for the Feature Race in the V.I. Classic at the Ellis Thomas Downs on Sunday 17th January, 2016, there was plenty of early excitement.
The first race of the day, over 6 ½ Furlongs, had the nerves of Officials jangling as L and B Thunder seemingly got stuck in Gate One, to echo numerous problems with starts at the Downs over recent times.
This time though the borrowed Gates from St Thomas were not to blame according to race goers.
With Thunder out of contention, Dramacidel took up the early pace, but couldn’t hold off Orithyia in the final stretch.
The horse owned by Wasi Charleswell and ridden by Carlos Quinones won in a time of 1:29
“We prepared for it and knew the horse had the speed” commented Mr. Charleswell. “
The second race over 7 Furlongs brought more drama as Optionality, owned by L and B Racing Stables, ridden by Brian Gonzalez, crashed through the barriers and out of the race at the bottom turn
Fortunately both Horse and Rider came out of the accident virtually unscathed, although Gonzalez did suffer a broken wrist and was taken to Peebles Hospital.
Mark It A Wynn with Winston Hurst Junior on board took the win ahead of Meddling Birdie and Sir Whiskey.
The wining time 1:35.2/5ths
Race three, also over 7 Furlongs, started with more gate controversy as Buy Buy Buy came out late from the same gate one. However I’m Sensational ridden by Cindy Soto stopped for nothing as they raced home in 1:31 3/5ths.
It was Soto’s second win at the Downs and she led from start to finisg ahead of Sin Mirar Atras
Miss Homer won race four, over 7 Furlongs, in a time of 1:34, after Extra Dinner had set the early pace, but ran out of steam around the final bend.
The Feature race, briefly and it was just briefly, saw My Pal Shawn get the hopes of the BVI at fever pitch as , in what was a two horse race at the start became a one horse race by the end, as St Moose tore up the back and home stretches to win by four lengths in a time of 1;47
The Honourable Myron Walwyn was on hand to present the winners trophy to James Bates along with Patsy Lake, the Horse Owners new President.
The day was very well organized with a new level of professionalism and decoration and after the presentation Mr. Walwyn disclosed that discussions would start in regards to what else can be done to enhance and improve the Downs, including upgrades to the Track.
Race six went to Wrol Up who powered down the home straight to win in 1: 33 and 2 ahead of Chilean Boy and Uptown Anthem.
The last race of the day over 6 and ½ furlongs was won by Attorante in 1:26 and 4. Bling Blang out of St Thomas came second and Star Ship Titan third.