Examining St Leger Day Races - Sunday, July 7, 2024

Eagle One (Robert Halledeen in red cap)  on his way to winning the fifth race.
Eagle One (Robert Halledeen in red cap) on his way to winning the fifth race.

The 1400-metre opener on a day when the second leg of the 2024 Triple Crown was featured, held out much promise for leading reinsman Tevin Foster.

Trained by Patrick Lynch, six-year Simba The Lion, whose preference is front-running tactic, benefitted from the patience of Foster who held up the gelding in third. Assuming the lead 300 metres out Simba The Lion was over seven lengths clear at the finish for the rider’s first of four on the card.

Former champion, son of three-time titlist Winston,  Shane Ellis, who remains the only practicing second-generation champion jockey was aboard Michael Marlowe’s 3-1 winner Last Dance in race two over 1000 metres straight. Shane has been busy at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada where he has ridden more than 120 winners over periodic stints.

In race three, restricted to graduands of the Jamaica Racing Commission Riding School and run at 800 metres for maidens four-year-olds and upwards in two divisions, Jermaine Lewis guided 3-5 bet Lambo Girl trained by Adrian Prince to a three-and-a-half-length victory.

Half an hour later in race four, Division II, it was the turn of Eric Haughton to ride Omar Williams’ Texas Metal (3-5) into the winners’ enclosure. Congratulations to both Lewis and Haughton with a reminder that this is a tough business, a difficult one, and a very demanding taskmaster.

Victory by 1-2 bet Eagle One(USA) was hard-fought to score by just less than one length with Robert Halledeen in the 1000-metre straight race five and the first of four for champion and leading conditioner Jason DaCosta.

Foster confirmed his double success in race six, contested over 1300 metres, with maiden Zulu Warrior (3-5) over ten lengths clear for declarer Howard Bailey.

Blu Sensation (10-1), having contested the Hotline, Thornbird and The Portmore as well as well as the 1000 Guineas all restricted to fillies, trainer Peter-John Parsard found less exacting company and veteran Oneil Mullings executed the assistance from the saddle for a victory by a length and a half over the 1400 metres of race seven.

The 1300 metres of race eight proved ideal for front-running three parts of a length winner, the 2023 St. Leger heroine Thalita (8-5) securing Foster’s third and DaCosta’s second. However, the best of the successes on the day jockey and trainer was to unfold over the remaining hour and a half of the meet.

Race nine, an Open Allowance 1500-metre event, staged in honour of sitting Chairman of the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries and the Jamaica Racing Commissions Clovis Metcalfe turned out to be another front-running triumph for the DaCosta’s stable; the third of the destined four.

Partnered by two-kilo claimer Shavon Townsend, Mamma Mia the 2023 Jamaica Oaks and 1000 Guineas winner, reeled off impressive fractions for a final time of 1:30.4 with the 1200-metre split completed 1:10.3 for a winning margin just short of two lengths.

The day ended perfectly for DaCosta and Foster as the collaboration, in the 2000-metre $4.5 million St. Leger was successful with Interestntimesahead scoring by three and a half lengths.

Tracking the leaders Mack And Rome and  2000 Guineas winner California Crown, Interestntimesahead brushed both aside over 600 metres out. For victory number five from seven starts Interestntimesahead stayed on well to triumph over Crown Chaser (Shane Ellis) and 1000 Guineas winner Run Julie Run (Reyan Lewis) so now it’s on to the Derby on day six of the first week of August.

The Training Feat Award is presented to DaCosta for the accurate and well-timed training programme  of his four winning charges. Mamma Mia displayed an exhibition of speed, stamina and courage for The Best Winning Gallop award. Foster in utilising his expansive skill set to secure the four-timer gets the Jockeyship Award.




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