Horse Racing

Without Exception still not ready for big ones in Diamond Mile – trainer DaCosta

Observer staff reporter

Friday, November 16, 2018

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Even after setting a new Stakes record in the fifth running of the Coca-Cola Invitational Mile last Saturday, trainer Wayne DaCosta is claiming that his bay colt Without Exception is still not ready to conquer the big guns in the Diamond Mile.

The Diamond Mile, sponsored by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and Supreme Ventures Limited, is set for December 1 at Caymanas Park. The purse for the Diamond Mile is US$115,000.

Without Exception, after giving up the lead at the half-mile (800m), produced a late burst a furlong and a half out, blasting by Hilly's Halo to win by five comfortabe lengths in the Invitational Mile. The bay colt's final time of 1:37.1 erased the previous mark of 1:37.2 done by Phineas in 2015.

“Good performance! I thought it was a good performance by Without Exception to win the Invitational Mile. You could see that he was staying on in his races of late. We ran him in some sprint races and you could see in the last part he was staying on in the finish, so we opted to go into the Invitational Mile instead of the Sprint Championship.

“Well, I thought he would run a very good race, but I never thought a Stakes record was on the cards. Without Exceptionnext stop is the Diamond Mile. He has all the big guns to beat there. I mean, he is still not up to scratch as yet, but I think he has a very good chance of maybe placing.

“I must give credit to the jockey Javaniel Patterson who rode a well-judged and well-timed race, using the whip sparingly in the straight. He (Patterson) really did well,” DaCosta surmised.

Breaking from the number one post, Without Exception got out of the starting gates running and was hooked up on the lead with Lightning Lilly (Leo Miller) and Hilly's Halo(Dane Nelson).

As the runners approached the six-furlong (1,200m) marker, Without Exception began to move away from Lightning Lily and Hilly's Halo. As soon as the field motored past the half mile, Hilly's Halosurged to the lead looking strong.

Entering the stretch drive, Hilly's Halo failed to kick and this opened the door for the rallying Without Exception, who was switched from the inside rails to the outside, to go by Hilly's Halo.

The far-striding bay colt then powered home for his fourth win of the season. Hilly's Halo, who was venturing over the distance for the first time, did well to stay on for second money with last year's winner, Houdini's Magic, ending in third position.

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