A look at the race meeting of Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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Locomotive - Simon Husbands

Super Mal wins the first race on no-spectator race day

KINGSTON, Jamaica – With the spread of (COVID-19), racing was forced to run without spectators for the first time in the 61-year history of Caymanas Park.

Super Mal, trained by Steven Todd and ridden by apprentice Mathew Bennett, had the unique distinction of winning the first race on the history-making day.

Super Mal (Adore the Gold – What A Honey), after breaking well from the number nine post, assumed the early lead and stayed with rivals for the first half of the four-furlong (800m) event before extending his advantage to win by 3 ½ lengths in a time of 49.2 seconds.

Royal Girl (Oneil Mullings) chased the winner for most of the way to finish in second place, while Buck Call (Chalrick Budhai) came on the scene late to get third money in the Optional Claiming ($180,000-$150,000) contest.

Bennett said while he was happy winning on the day, it was odd not seeing and hearing the punters at the race track.

“I understand it was necessary not to have punters at the track because of the virus, and for me, it was just like doing exercise gallops in the mornings,” he said.

Bala Gris holds on

Coming off a five-month break, four-year-old grey colt Bala Gris (Nasheet – Wisely Noted) just did enough to hold on for the win in a Restricted Allowance V event run over five furlongs (1,000m) on the round course.

It was Schlesinger (Oshane Nugent) who shot to the early lead in the six-horse field over Bala Gris tightly ridden by Dane Dawkins going into the half-mile (800m) turn.

Approaching the home bend, Schlesinger opened up on the field and looked strong at the top of the lane, but when he failed to kick in deep stretch, the opportunity opened for Bala Gris, who surged to the front at the furlong pole against the inside rails.

With yards to go, American-bred Alhamdulillah (Anthony Thomas), who tracked the leaders from close range entering the straight, came with a late surged but failed to get there in time as Bala Gris held on to win by a head.

Schlesinger held on for third place as the race finished in a time of 1:01.2.

 Locomotive scores at 10-1

Not hitting the board in his last six starts, Locomotive (Taqarub – Sure To Cure) turned around his form and ran rivals off their feet to win an Optional Claiming ($350,000-$300,000) spread over six furlongs (1,200m).

Jockey Simon Husbands got Locomotive in third spot behind Fifty Cents (Dane Dawkins) and Papa Albert (Omar Walker) after the starter touched the button.

Leaving the half-mile (800m), Locomotive went down into second behind Fifty Cents before taking over the lead at the top of the lane. With no challengers within three lengths of Locomotive, the five-year-old chestnut gelding, turned on the pressure and cruised home to win by five lengths.

Papa Albert finished in second with Fifty Cents taking third. The final time for the event was 1:15.2.

 Elal in the nick of time

Five-year-old bay gelding Elal (Silent Valor – Kam To The World) produced a telling late surge and was able to get up in the nick of time to win a claiming ($250,000-$200,000) event over five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m).

Ridden by apprentice Daniel Satchell, Elal came storming on the outside of rivals to nip Awesome Cat (Anthony Allen) on the wire, winning by a short head.

Jockey Dane Nelson had to hustle Balazo from the number one post to take the early lead ahead of Superbolt (Reyan Lewis), Awesome Cat, and Kimberly Gold (Christopher Mamdeen) with Elal racing  among the backmarkers.

At the seven-sixteenth pole, when Balazo opened up on Kimberly Gold and Superbolt, Elal was still labouring at the back of the field.

Turning for home, Balazo continued to hang tough on the front end, as Awesome Cat was switched off the inside rails to take aim at the leaders with Elal bursting through the pack. Elal got up in time to beat Awesome Cat, who had pointed with 25 yards to go.

Balazo was just three parts-of-a-length in third place as the final time for the event was recorded at 1:10.1.

 Let Him Fly off the mark

Three-year-old bay colt Let Him Fly, after three inadequate efforts, got his head in front in a Maiden Condition race for native-bred three-year-olds who had not finished second to fourth lifetime.

Let Him Fly (Western Classic – Little Thunder) broke on top in the six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m) event but was soon taken off the lead by jockey Shane Ellis, leaving Daytona Belle (Javaniel Patterson) to take up the running ahead of Get It Right (Paul Francis).

Get It Right surged to the lead at the half-mile (800m) as Daytona Belle, Let Him Fly, Strike At Will (Oneil Mullings), and Oh Ha Light (Dane Dawkins) chased approaching the final bend.

Turning for home, Oh Ha Light picked up the lead on the outside, while Let Him Fly took the inside rails as both went clear of the field. However, with half-a-furlong (100m) left in the contest, Ellis got his mount running and Let Him Fly got up for the win.

Oh Ha Light was beaten by half-a-length, as Bacchanalist (Dane Nelson) came through for third place. The final time for the event was 1:23.2.

 Three horses claimed

Three horses were claimed on the spectator-less 10-race card.

In the fifth race, Kevin Brivette claimed Papa Albert for owner K & G Racing from Ryan Darby; Nicholas Smith claimed General Report for owner Akeem Mahadiow from Leroy Tomlinson. Both horses were claimed for $350,000 each.

Winner of the sixth race, Elal was claimed from Ryan Darby by Joseph Thomas for himself for $250,000.