Black Point gets home
After nine career starts including some very close finishes, Black Point (Distorted – Drop Them) finally got his head in front when he won a maiden condition race over 5 furlongs (1000m) on the round course.
Ridden by apprentice Romario Smith, Black Point shot to the lead at the off from the number one post but was passed by Kiss of Love (Raddesh Roman) and Warrior (Romario Spencer) going into the half-mile (800m) turn.
Kiss of Love began to open up on the field approaching the distance but once they entered the straight failed to carry on leaving Black Point to come with a strong run against the inside rails for the win going away to win by 1 ¼ lengths.
Kiss of Love was second and Jamaican Storm (Shane Ellis) third. The final time for the distance was a slow 1:03.4.
Trainer Phillip Elliott was pleased with the effort.
“I am glad for the win with this horse because it took me a lot of work to go across the line and everybody can see that. He also has a problem that is not ordinary. I have him a certain way, you must have noticed how I run him sparingly and not too long as he has a respiratory problem but otherwise from that he is a sound horse and he will win at the non-winners of two level in time to come,” Elliott said.
Striking by ‘Grace’
Five-year-old dark bay mare Struck by Grace made all the running to win a maiden condition race over 5 furlongs straight, giving trainer Neville Peralto his first winner for the season.
With Christopher Mamdeen in the saddle, Struck by Grace (Strikeitwhileitshot – Lady Rakwalaay) broke well from the number one post and held a slim lead over first-time runner Ratio (Daniel Satchell), Ringo Star (Samantha Fletcher) and Heart of Rome (Osive Donegal) in the early exchanges.
As the field began to settle, Struck by Grace started to draw away from rivals and cruised home under a hand ride to win by 5 lengths in a time of 1:03.1. Ratio ran well for second money with Robin’s Quest (Roger Hewitt) occupying the third slot.
After the race, Peralto said: “She (Struck by Grace) was a problematic horse as a three-year-old as she got injured with some tendon injuries and had to be turned out. She was brought back to the stables at the age of four and she was still showing some problems, and so she was hard to train and that’s why she didn’t come back to the track competitively until now when she is five. The win is pleasing but it is not a lot to write about but based on the injuries that she has had it still says a lot. She is keeping sounder these days and I have to watch and see how she comes out of this race and then take another step after that.”
Old timer Phineas still at it
At age 10, Phineas has had his share of injuries and as a result is gingerly treated and taken care of. Yet this old warrior continues to produce winning performances. Phineas notched his second win for the year in an Optional Claiming ($350,000-$300,000) event over one mile (1,600m).
With Kiaman McGregor doing the riding honours, Phineas raced among the backmarkers before starting to get into gear at the half-mile. Turning for home just behind the leaders against the inside rails, Phineas was produced and he answered with a telling run to win by 5 ½ lengths going away from the unlucky Unbreakable, ridden by Abigail Able. Unbreakable got off to a poor start, then was hustled down to be close with the leaders. Unbreakable then surrounded the leaders but went miles wide at the turn to dissipate any chance of winning.
Late N Drafty (Oneil Mullings) also came with a strong run late on the scene for third place. The winning time was 1:43.0 by the Distorted offspring. Phineas has now earned over $8 million in his long and distinguished career.
Trainer Stanley Findlay is a winner
Popular veteran trainer Stanley Findlay with his traditional wide, winning smile watched with pride and excitement as his charge Pleasant Secret strongly ridden by Panamanian jockey Ameth Robles win the sixth race.
Robles pushed Pleasant Secret to the lead in the Optional Claiming contest run over 6 ½ furlongs and with Pleasant Secret enjoying the sloppy prevailing conditions held his lead up to about a furlong-and-a-half out before being challenged and passed by Five Star with Linton Steadman in the saddle on the inside.
It was then that Robles summoned all his strength and got Pleasant Secret rolling to once again take the lead, winning in the end by 1 ¼ lengths. Sir Ian Links (Raddesh Roman was third.
Eight horses claimed
Eight horses were claimed on the 10-race midweek programme.
Steven Todd claimed Sir Ian Links from Wayne DaCosta for himself for $550,000 from the sixth race.
In the eighth race, General Report was claimed from Renex Burrell by Ryan Darby for owner Raphael Gordon; Unbreakable was claimed from Ryan Williams by Anthony Nunes for owner Ajax Bjorn and Phineas was claimed from Phillip Lee by Randolph Scott for owner Felix Whyte. All these horses were claimed for $350,000.
Michael Francis claimed Court Call for himself from Gregory Forsyth; Marlon Anderson claimed Top Eagle for owner Diamonds from Henry Harrison Jr; Michael Beecham claimed No Money Friend for himself from Junior Panton and Joseph Thomas claimed Also Correct for owner Zelpha Ricketts from Winchester McIntosh from the 10th. All these horses claimed for $250,000.