Racing News - Sunday, March 12, 2023
Trainer Howard McLeod (right) shares the winning moment with jockey Shavon Townsend.


Six-year-old, American-bred, chestnut gelding Duke of Springs made light work of rivals in a three-year-old and upwards Optional Claiming ($400,000-$300,000) spread going a mile (1,600m).

Trained by Tensang Chung and ridden by Tevin Foster, Duke of Springs was unable to go with the early leaders at the start of the race, settling among the backmarkers. Colawill (Ramon Nepare) led the field down the backstretch ahead of Dracarys (Devon A Thomas), Silent Cat (Roger Hewitt), and Master of Hall (Jemar Jackson).

Duke of Springs continued to race way behind the leaders approaching the half-mile (800m) turn and began to improve while navigating the turn when rounding horses at a rapid rate, as Silent Cat took up the running ahead of XY Soul (Reyan Lewis) and Dracarys.

Turning for home in fourth place, Duke of Springs found running room on the inside rails and produced a strong effort in deep stretch to blow away rivals by 13½ lengths. XY Soul finished in second place with Darcarys getting third place in a final time of 1:44.0 (24.4 x 48.3 x 1:15.2).

Jockey Sadiki Blake (Photos: Naphtali Junior)


Jockey Sadiki Blake paid a rare visit to the winners' circle aboard the Wilfred Chin-conditioned Chiney Music in a native-bred five-year-old and upwards (non-winners of two) call travelling 4½ furlongs (900m).

The ever-patient Blake broke Chiney Music behind the early pace as Hopenperseverance (Chris Mamdeen), Dotlin (Roger Hewitt), Gone A Negril (Samantha Fletcher), and Tiger Bella (Jordan Barrett) vied for the advantage. As the runners sorted themselves out, Dotlin emerged as the lone leader approaching the dummy rails, with Gone A Negril, Chiney Music, and JB Flyer (Ramon Nepare) chasing.

Blake asked Chiney Music for an effort, and the five-year-old grey mare went to challenge Dotlin for the lead inside the final furlong (200m) before pulling away to win by 2½ lengths in a time of 57.4. Hopenperseverance came through for second place ahead of Gone A Negril in third place.


Jockey Samantha Fletcher continued to make her presence felt among the top riders after notching her fifth win of the season aboard seven-year-old chestnut mare Denbigh Life for trainer Patrick Fong.

Fletcher's success came in a three-year-old and upwards Claiming ($750,000-$600,000) event over 5 furlongs (1000m) on the round course.

At the off, Fletcher hustled up Denbigh Life to take up the early running ahead of Ha Gow Siu Mei (Linton Steadman), Givemethelight (Christopher Mamdeen), and Donalmighty (Roger Hewitt) going into the half-mile turn.

Denbigh Life upped the tempo approaching the distance before turning the pressure in deep stretch ahead of rivals. Although she was shortening in the final stages of the race, Denbigh Life had done more than enough from early on to hold on for the win.

Denbigh Life got home by a head from the fast-finishing Ha Gow Siu Mei. Donalmighty finished in third place, with the final time recorded at 1:02.2. The splits were 24.1 x 48.2.


Trainer Howard McLeod saddled his first winner for the season when his charge, Sir Frederick, won the five-year-old and upwards Optional Claiming ($180,000-$150,000) call that also included native-bred six-year-olds and upwards (non-winners of two) at 5½ furlongs (1,100m).

Shownomercy (Anthony Allen) was the first to show on the front end, ahead of Avery and Ayan (Aaron Chatrie), Party Princess (Roger Hewitt), and Sir Frederick (Shavon Townsend). Going into the half-mile turn Sir Frederick surged to the lead, and the 13-year-old hard-knocking campaigner began to open up on runners approaching the drive.

Turning for home, Sir Frederick wasted no time and powered home to score by 2¾ lengths comfortably at the wire. Party Princess ran on to finish second, and Hail Mary (Ramon Nepare) finished third in a final time of 1:12.4.


In the first race, Norman Smith claimed Silent Cat for owner Marshall Russell for $350,000 from Carl Anderson.

Phillip Elliott claimed Donalmighty for owner Andrew Elliott for $750,000 from Steven Todd, and Jason DaCosta claimed Ha Gow Siu Mei for owner Carlton Watson, also for $750,000, from Anthony Nunes from the third race.

BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter

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