Horse Racing

Third Diamond Mile is on

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, August 18, 2017

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The third staging of the Diamond Mile was officially launched at the Spanish Court Worthington in St Andrew on Tuesday with the promise of a race day filled with fun and exciting action both on and off the racetrack. The Diamond Mile race day is set for Saturday, December 2.

The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) in partnership with Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) and its subsidiary Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the local promoter of horse racing in Jamaica, have put together a combined sponsorship package of $37.5 million to make the 2017 Diamond Mile possible.

The BGLC will invest $20 million towards all purses on the day, while SVL and SVREL contributions stand at $17.5 million with $5 million going directly to the purse of the Diamond Mile and the remaining into the cost of staging the event. The day will also be highlighted by the BGLC Stakes (Grade 3 - Overnight Allowance - seven furlongs) and the SVL Diamond Sprint - (Restricted Stakes - four-year-old and up for imported horses non-winners of three and local bred non-winners of three - five straight) .

The Diamond Mile for 2017 carries a total purse of US$115,000 (J$13.5 million) and the remaining races on the card will have purses of $1 million and over, making the race day the richest in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Clovis Metcalfe, chairman of the BGLC, in giving his organisation's commitment to the sport, pointed out that another thrilling and memorable day at the races awaits punters, horse racing enthusiasts and others as the Diamond Mile will deliver on its promise of being Jamaica's greatest race day for the year.

“I see the Diamond Mile as Jamaica's equivalent of the Breeders' Cup Classic in the United States. The Breeders' Cup is one of thoroughbred horse racing's most prestigious international events and the Classic achieved the rating of number one in the world.

“Admittedly, the Diamond Mile is a long way from landing on this list, but we can certainly be proud that we have established the Diamond Mile as the best race day in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean.

“Last year, the second staging of the Diamond Mile race day was better than the previous one and I promise you that in 2017 we will continue that trend with another amazing, or some will say a 'supreme', experience for all who come to Caymanas Park,” Metcalfe said.

Paul Hoo, chairman of both SVL and SVREL, indicated that partnerships are key components in the process of restoring the former glory days of the sport of kings.

“We have watched the Diamond Mile grow since that first staging in December of 2015, and we continue to work hard to make it achieve its objectives of raising the stature of the sport in Jamaica. It's our version of Royal Ascot right here in Jamaica, and over the last two years it has become a much anticipated and highly rated event.

“We truly want to see the Diamond Mile event become the 'Diamond of the Caribbean'. There is nothing else like it across the region. We should all be proud that we have broken new ground and are blazing a new trail that will draw diehard fans of the sport and those who just love great entertainment,” Hoo noted.

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