Another impressive victory by Atomica
Atomica, now a five-year-old chestnut mare whose owner Don Wehby is considering retiring this talented race horse, showed signs on Monday, January 1, 2024, that she is not ready to go to the breeding shed following her thrilling victory in the Ian Levy Cup feature at Caymanas Park.
Following Atomica‘s second-consecutive victory in the 9 1/2-furlong Jamaica Cup on November 11, 2023, Wehby stated that the second running of the Mouttet Mile on December 2, 2023, will likely be her final race. Atomica dislodged her rider Dane Dawkins in the Mouttet Mile while navigating the half-mile (800m) turn.
Atomica kicked off her 2024 racing season winning the Graded Stakes contest for three-year-old and up over 8½ furlongs (1,700m) by 5 ¾ lengths. The Nuclear Wayne offspring won in an impressive time of 1:43.4, just shades outside off the track record of 1:42.1 set by American-bred Smile ‘N’ Leave on June 14, 1997.
Trainer Gary Subratie stated that additional consideration would be given to whether Atomica should be retired.
“It was an excellent performance from Atomica. She wasn’t 100 per cent going into the Mouttet Mile but she was much better for this race. She was much happier and I was really pleased with her training coming into this race and what the jockey was telling me after exercise and I was good with that,” Subratie told the Jamaica Observer‘s The Supreme Racing Guide.
“When Is That A Fact made his run that was fine. He could have pointed but he didn’t have the pace so he would probably go right through because of his speed, but I mean coming up at the top of the hill, that’s when Atomica gets busy.
“We will shortly discuss Atomica‘s future.
“He [Don Wehby] is away, so after this race we are going to take a decision,” Subratie added.
Atomica, ridden by Dane Dawkins, broke well at the start and raced comfortably in second position behind Mamma Mia (Phillip Parchment).
Atomica held her gallop well down the backstretch behind Mamma Mia until the five-furlong (1,000m) marker when she pointed on last year’s double Classic-winning filly.
Atomica carried the field into the half-mile (800m) turn, followed by Is That A Fact (Reyan Lewis) and Sistren Treasure (Javaniel Patterson), while Mamma Mia faded through the field before being pulled up.
Is That A Fact maintained his momentum in the straight and pointed on Atomica for the lead at the furlong and a half (300m) pole, but Atomica, showing her true fighting spirit, drew clear inside the final furlong (200m) to win handily.
Is That A Fact finished a length in front of Sistren Treasure for second place as Perfect Brew (Tevin Foster) completed the frame in the five-horse field. The splits for the event were 23.0 x 45.3 x 1:10.2 x 1:43.4.
Dawkins was pleased with the performance from Atomica.
“She performed very well. I wasn’t under any threat when he [Is That A Fact] came there because I know my horse and I know what she would have given me and she proved that. She is not 100 per cent back to her best but she getting there,” he said.