UPDATE: Really Uptown well on his way to Triple Crown Glory! [Photo display included]
Many insiders voiced the opinion that the horse, described by Trainer Antonio Codero “as the best in the Caribbean”, is only a sprinter, but now they have to eat their words as Really Uptown put on the afterburners just past the second bend and sped home to win the 1 1/8th mile Turtle Dove Classic, the 1st leg of the Triple Crown, by double digit lengths in a time of 1 49 and 2/5th’s.
Just for the record Really Uptown has now also won over 1 mile, 7 ½ furlongs and 6 furlongs including victories on St Croix, St Thomas and at home
Gato Paso came home 2nd, Good Prospecting 3rd and Sweet Sight 4th, but such was the margin of victory that they may as well have come round the final bend and headed straight back to the stables!
“Oh yes!” exclaimed owner Letty Hodge “he has proven himself over and over again that he is the best”
The victory was so emphatic that Slevin and St Croix race fans will be having sleepless nights before the second leg and their St Thomas counterparts will still be in a state of shock by the third leg.
A whole lot of newly converted admirers and fans of the horse are already claiming the Triple Crown is coming home again! “I’m thinking the same way many of the crowd is thinking, I’m taking him to St Croix next, I’m going to give the fans the best we can with the horse, but yes I’m thinking to bring home the Triple Crown!” Mrs Hodge exclaimed.
Cordero was equally as ecstatic “the horse ran good, he’s in good condition now and will give plenty problems to the horses in the second leg and right now he’s the best horse in the Islands and the Caribbean”
Gato Paso had given Really Uptown an early scare, but as Cordero explained, “we approached the race slightly differently to usual. Gato Paso ran really hard early; we told the Jockey to slip in behind if that happened and go easy until Uptown got his second wind.”
And boy did he get a second wind!
The 1st race of the day saw Walk the Tiger lead from gate to post in the Eileen Parsons Classic to win in 1:20 and 3. Quetoparace Cholito finished the 6 furlong race in 2nd whilst Power Ten came home third.
The 2nd race, the 6 ½ furlong, Oliver Cills Showdown, had the added amusement of an un mounted horse racing around inside the paddock, joining in the fun as debutant, Drink at last Call, out of St Croix led all the way round to win in a time of 1:22 and 4. Tormento was 2nd then Good Boy Daddy, favoured to win by most punters (if such a thing was allowed).
The 3rd race, the Axel Ritter Special, was marred by gate problems rearing their ugly head again. This time Glorious Memory, owned by L and B stables, burst out through a half way stuck gate to dismount his jockey and tear off around the downs.
Unperturbed by a little extra exercise Alberto Soto remounted and pushed Blakes Lucky Penny all the way over 1 mile before finishing second behind the Lesmore Smith owned debutant. Blakes Lucky Penny won in a time of 1:48 and True Essence came home third.
Lesmore Smith was a proud winner, but also apologetic to the fans for the mishap at the gate “like everything else you want the best out the horse racing it was an exciting race, but (as a member of the Horse Owners Association) we are sorry for the gate problems. We are trying to get a new gate as this one is pretty old and needs replacing. We are going to continue to improve on what we are doing here at the Ellis Thomas downs for the fans and everyone involved.”
The final race, before the big one, saw Broken Home romp to victory in the 1 mile Patsy Lake Invitational over Khun Dhan in a time of 1:48 and 1.
The crowd may have been smaller than expected, but the excitement of Really Uptown’s win more than made up for the lack of numbers in the stands. If you were there and blinked you almost missed it, but for those who made the effort the memory of Really Uptown galloping at top speed down the back straight, round the final bend and down the home stretch will live with you for a long long time.
The Legacy has begun and there is “mucho gasolina” in the tank.
See previous story posted January 13, 2013
UPDATE: No contest as Really Uptown takes first leg of Triple Crown!
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI – Really Uptown has once again come up with an incredible victory at Ellis Thomas Downs, this time by a remarkable twelve lengths ahead of the field of horses.
Gato Paso started out with the initial lead in the race but was quickly overcome by the first turn of the race when Really Uptown snatched the lead and never looked back.
Really Uptown was so assertive in the race that he appeared to be running for fun at one point as he opened up for a lead that stretched to as much as twelve lengths by the finish line.
The horse, which ran out of the L&B Stables team, led a field of four horses after the withdrawal of Slevin before the race and finished in a time of 1:49 and 2.
This news site will provide additional details of the races in a later update.
See previous story posted January 13, 2012:
Triple Crown showdown is no one horse race – Lesmore Smith
- First leg gets underway from 2 P.M. at Ellis THomas Downs today Jan. 13, 2013
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI – Vice-President of the VI Horse Owners Association, Mr Lesmore Smith, has refuted claims that today’s (January 13, 2013) main event for the Second Annual VI Triple Crown Challenge is now a one horse race with the absence of Slevin through injury.
Owner of Slevin, Mr James Bates, had related to Virgin Islands News Online on January 10, 2013 that his horse received an injury to a hoof on one of his front legs while he was in a stable at Ellis Thomas Downs at Sea Cows Bay for the Boxing Day races last December.
The feature race will now be among favourite Really Uptown of L&B Stables, Good Prospecting of Top Priority Racing Stables, Twisted Dreams and Sweet Sight of St. Thomas and Gato Paso of St. Croix.
“It’s a horse race… there are [four] other horses in the race and any horse can win the race,” Mr Smith said when asked about his take on the claim.
He added, “like anything, and on any given day, so many things can go wrong so at the end of the day, any horse can win the race.”
“I go into any race with the expectation of winning [and] so is any other owner or trainer so any horse can win the race,” the Vice-President of the VI Horse Owners' Association related.
Mr Smith, also the owner of Top Priority racing stables, has trained three additional horses which will be participating in Sunday’s races, including Good Boy Daddy, Blake’s Lucky Penny and Gaffalione and he appeared particularly busy in preparation for race day when Virgin Islands News Online visited the stables.
Being the Vice-President of the VI Horse Owners Association, he explained that he was still trying to get the track ready to the standard it ought to be with regard to maintenance. “I’m wearing more than one hat at the same time,” he said. “We’re hoping for a good day tomorrow.”
The remaining preparations for the track then had included minor clearing of the track and removal of brush, according to Mr Smith.
Though a few horses had earlier pulled out of some of the races for various reasons, he noted that to the best of his knowledge, there were no additional dropouts through injury or otherwise by any of the other horses and added that all the horses currently on the race card are scheduled to go.
Mr Smith said he was satisfied with the number of entries that came from the USVI to participate in Sunday’s first leg of the VI Triple Crown Challenge and encouraged the fans to come out to participate in the races.
Post time for the first race today is 2 P.M.
See race card below:
VI Triple Crown Challenge First Leg
Ellis Thomas Downs
January 13, 2013
|RACE #1||6 Furlong for Class D Horses||2:00 AM||Purse $ 4,000.00|
|1||Walk the Tiger||Roy Mercer Sr.||Roy mercer Sr.||119 lbs||Yellow/White|
|2||Power Ten||Zion Stables||Winston Maduro||117 lbs||Pink/White|
|3||Queteparace Cholito||Leonard's Mini Mart||Elroy Leonard||119 lbs||Blue/Gold|
|RACE #2||6 1/2 Furlongs for C & D Horses||2:45 PM||Purse $ 4,500.00|
|1||Good Boy Daddy||Top Priority Racing Stables||Lesmore Smith||119 lbs||Orange/Red/Green|
|2||Green Light Special (stt) debut*||Heigel Farrell||L. Charleswell||119 lbs||Red/white/blue|
|3||Drink At Last Call (stx) debut*||Gary Nicholas||Gary Nicholas||119 lbs||Lime Green|
|RACE #3||1Mile Open Fillies & Mares||3:15 PM||Purse $ 6,000.00|
|1||Glourious Memory||L&B Racing Stables||Antonio Codero||117 lbs||black/white/Yellow|
|2||Orithyia||Thomas Vill Stables||Karl Thomas||116 lbs||Blue/Gold Diamonds|
|3||True Essense debut*||Zion Stables||Winston Maduro||117 lbs||Pink/White|
|4||Good Evening Officer (stt)||Rasharn Creque||Rasharn Creque||119 lbs||Camouflage/White|
|5||Blake's Lucky Penny||Top Priority Racing Stables||Lesmore Smith||118 lbs||Orange/Red/Green|
|RACE #4||1 Mile for Class B & C Horses||4:00 PM||Purse $ 5,000.00|
|1||Khun Dan||Alliance Point Stables||Michael Smith||119 lbs||White/Stars|
|2||Tormento||Leonard's Mini Mart||Elroy Leonard||116 lbs||Blue/Gold|
|3||Gaffalione||Alex Lake||Lesmore Smith||117 lbs||Orange/Red/Green|
|RACE #5||1 1/16 Mile for Class A Horses||5:00 PM||Purse $ 10,000.00|
|1||Good Prospecting||Top Priority Racing Stables||Lesmore Smith||120 lbs||Orange/Red/Green|
|2||Twisted Dreams (stt.)||Rasharu Creque||Rasharu Creque||120 lbs||Camouflage/White|
|3||Really Up Town||L&B Racing Stables||Antonio Codero||120 lbs||black/white/Yellow|
|4||Sweet Sight (stt)||No Limit Racing Stable||Ira Callwood||120 lbs||Green/gold/white|
|5||Gato Paso (stx) debut*||Gary Nicholas||Gary Nicholas||120 lbs||Red/white/blue|