Atomica — the undisputed leader of the pack
Derby winning jockey Dane Dawkins (right) greeting admirers after his historic victory aboard Atomica on Saturday, August 6, at Caymanas Park.

What was billed as another classical showdown between Atomica and Blue Vinyl, the two rising stars of the three-year-old lot, petered into an anti-climax as the chestnut filly Atomica swept all before her to win the 102nd running of the $7.5-m Jamaica Derby on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Ridden by Dane Dawkins for trainer Gary Subratie, Atomica (Nuclear Wayne – Honkeytonkville) demonstrated her supreme class by destroying rivals (nine colts and geldings), to post a 9-¼-length win ahead of Brinks and Blue Vinyl.

Atomica stopped the clock in the native-bred three-year-old Futurity event over 12 furlongs (2,400m) in 2:35.2 with splits of 24.2 x 49.0 x 1:16.3 x 1:41.2.

THE RACE

Atomica left the starting gates prominently as she joined Blue Vinyl on the front end. It took her no time to assume pole position and she did passing the stands for the first time and going around the clubhouse turn. Atomica upped the tempo of her gallop down the backstretch with Blue Vinyl slipping into second place ahead of Brinks.

Atomica slowed the pace down as Blue Vinyl got closer to her navigating the half-mile turn. It was then that the class of Atomica came to the fore. The coveted blue riband event was turned into possession as the filly romped home to her sixth career win from seven starts. Brinks finished second three parts of a length ahead of Blue Vinyl in third place.

TRAINER'S COMMENTS — GARY SUBRATIE

My plan never really changed after the St Leger. The work she did on Sunday (July 31, 2022) was a little too rich for me as I worried that the gallop (1:25.3 for 7 furlongs) was a little too fast and it might have taken too much out of her and so I gave her an extra day off this week. I knew, I had the best three-year-old; it is not very easy for a horse to get bumped around the way she did in the Jamaica St Leger, plus Atomica got jammed up at the round mile still only to get beaten by just over four lengths. The plan, therefore, was to get a good break today and get an early position as best as possible without doing too much without any interference and it worked out perfectly. Atomica is a wonderful and talented filly who has now earned a rest. As to the future, the connections will sit down and map that out in short order.

JOCKEY'S COMMENTS — DANE DAWKINS

In the St Leger she didn't get a wonderful break and so this time I broke her out sharp, got her on her legs; restrained her from I reached two-and-a-half furlongs, and then I brought her back to the field. I noticed that Blue Vinyl was on my outside and Brinks was on my inside and so I was well comfortable where I was. I held her well until I reached the round mile. I gave her some reins and said "go mummy this is the final turn" and she gave me everything that I had asked her and we came out on top.

THE POSITIVES

Apart for the heroics of Atomica, it was heartwarming to witness the progress of Brinks, who after finishing third in the St Leger, came good in the Derby with a second-place effort.

Stallion Bern Identity domiciled at Paradise at Spring Village can be proud as his offspring finished second (Brinks), third (Blue Vinyl), and fourth (D Head Cornerstone).

THE NEGATIVES

The three-year-old cohort of 2022, if you take out Atomica, Blue Vinyl, and Brinks, can be described as a woeful lot. Fourth-place finisher in the Derby, D Head Cornerstone was 25 1/2 lengths off the winner. From this grouping minus the three already mentioned, do not expect many to fulfil their existing conditions, with the possibility of going, to say, Overnight Allowance remote at best.

Trainer Gary Subratie (right) with his derby winner Atomica. At left is Don Wehby, owner of Atomica. (Photos: Garfield Robinson)
BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter

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