KINGSTON, Jamaica – Desmond “Crazy D” Walker, owner of Crazy D Sports Bar located on Cottage Drive in Gregory Park, St Catherine, is bemoaning the shutdown of Caymanas Park along with the Off Track Betting (OTBs) parlours due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. This he stated had `impacted the community negatively.
Since the ban of large gathering by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, racing at Caymanas Park was still active but without spectators for two race meets before all operations were halted.
“I am the owner of Crazy D Sports Bar, run by my wife and myself, and on a Saturday, to be honest, with no Caymanas Park going plus the virus, it has been difficult for us.
“With no racing action at Caymanas Park, which is used as a form of comfort and entertainment, it is a real setback for us who live or do business in Gregory Park.
“It is just like we are getting a coronavirus lick and a Caymanas lick at the same time.
“You know on a Saturday, a whole heap a people would move around, you would see people walking around with either their race books or their weights in hand.
“Now, nothing like that at all. There are few people around these days, and not many are doing any business in my place.
“So, we as business people with Caymanas Park shutting down, are having a bad time… the shutdown is having a real serious impact on all of us.
“Caymanas Park is a job full-filling area for a lot of people, especially young people. Let me tell you this, apart from the OTBs, where workers work in the system, there are the owners, trainers, grooms, stable hands, and exercise riders. They are normal people on the streets, and when they work and get pay, they then visit shops in Gregory Park, not only my shop, to spend their money. Ah, just so it go here in Gregory Park, we are a racehorse community, but now there is no racing. It rough!
“The current situation is one of hustling right across the board, from the top to the grass roots level in the community. Irrespective of how you want to look at it, racing is the lifeblood of Gregory Park and the places close to Gregory Park,” Walker shared with the Supreme Racing Guide.