KINGSTON, Jamaica – Veteran jockey Paul “Country” Francis kept his good form going when he piloted the Ryan Darby trained Balazo to victory in the second of 10 races on today’s (Sunday, July 5) race card at Caymanas Park.
Balazo going off at odds of 9-2 in a $350,000 – $300,000 Optional Claiming contest run over 6 ½ furlongs, gave no ends of trouble to enter the starting gates. It took nearly all of the starting gate attendants to push Balazo into his number eight starting stall – a case of manpower winning over horse power in the end.
When starter Michael Simms let them go, Balazo exited at the back of the field. Francis did not panic and gradually eased the chestnut gelding closer and closer to the leaders.
With three furlongs left, Balazo took over and despite a persistent challenge from Buckaluck (Chris Mamdeen) in the straight, was able to dash away, winning by 4 ½ lengths.
Buckaluck was second with Fifty Cents (Dane Dawkins) third.
|RACE 2 $350-300,000 OPT CLAIM(3YOS&UP)1300M/6 1/2F 1:15 PM|
|3||2||Fifty Cents||Dane Dawkins||5-2||$107.00|
|4||4||General Report||Raddesh Roman||1-1|
|5||6||Trini Magic||Andre Martin||35-1|
|TRAINER: Ryan Darby|
|Shane Ellis rides #5 Golden Emperor|
|Splits:24.0 x 48.0 x 1:14.0 – Time: 1:22.0 – Margins: 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 – 8 RAN|