Top 10 2022 horse racing moments
Solar panels at Caymanas Park

THERE were many outstanding moments, on and off the racetrack, at Caymanas Park during the 2022 racing season, moments that have left indelible imprints on both shareholders and stakeholders.

The team from The Supreme Racing Guide has compiled the top 10 outstanding and far-reaching moments in horse racing. The list below is placed in order of priority:

1. THE INSTALLATION OF A SOLAR ENERGY PLANT

By far the most insightful development for the sport of horse racing and promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) during 2022 was the installation of a solar energy plant which was unveiled on October 10, 2022. This was done in an effort to reduce the company's annual electricity bill. At the time SVREL was said to be paying over $100 million in electricity bills annually, but with the solar energy plant, the company is expected to reduce that significantly to less than 10 million dollars per year.

2. FIXED-ODDS BETTING IMPLEMENTATION

The implementation of fixed odds was another major development in 2022. The fixed-odds betting system, which gives punters more choices when placing their bets, was made available at the races for the first time on Saturday, December 3. This was part of a multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement signed with Australian horse racing betting solutions provider BetMakers Technology Group. The $70-million, five-year deal was signed in December 2020.

3. EXCESSIVE FORCE WINS FIRST STAGING OF US$125,000 MOUTTET MILE

Without a doubt the victory by Excessive Force in the first staging of the US$1250,000 Mouttet Mile on December 3, 2022, was something special, it was something magical, and it was something out of the top drawer. Excessive Force was a sight very much resembling greatness and cemented himself as one of the season's stars after snatching the competition in a time of 1:41.0. The fact that the Mouttet Mile carried a total purse of US$125,000 ($18.7 million) made this the largest purse for a single event offered in the English-speaking Caribbean. The showdown racing fans anticipated between Atomica, the Jamaica Cup winner, and Mahogany, the Gold Cup winner, failed to materialise as the Port Royal winner Excessive Force — in an electrifying run in deep stretch that brought the large crowd in attendance to its feet — won the three-year-old and upward Graded Stakes event in fine style by a length and a quarter. Racing fans were simply stunned as Excessive Force created history as he not only lifted himself but also the sport to a higher level.

4. DANE DAWKINS WINS FIRST JOCKEYS' CHAMPIONSHIP

The jockeys' championship was the centre of attention during the last part of the year. The 2022 title race involving Dane Dawkins and defending champion Anthony Thomas was set for a grand finale on the last three race days of the year, Monday, December 26, Tuesday, December 27, and Sunday, December 31. After the first two of the three race days, Dawkins pulled further ahead with 100 winners, four ahead of Thomas with 96 winners, setting up what was expected to be a thrilling finish. On the final race day Dawkins rode three winners to end the race with 103 while Thomas rode two winners to finish on 96, handing Dawkins his first championship title.

5. JASON DACOSTA WINS TRAINERS' TITLE

For the most part the 2022 trainer's championship, which involved trainers Jason DaCosta and Anthony Nunes, was captivating to the bone as both conditioners were locked in a duel. With Atomica's success in the Classic races, trainer Gary Subratie entered the race. However, DaCosta reeled off the in the winners in the last three months and on that momentum he then pulled off a dominating win in his first full season of training horses at Caymanas Park. Well done to DaCosta and his stables for a famous and well-deserved championship. DaCosta finished with 85 wins, 57 seconds, and 63 thirds from 519 starts with stakes of $74,002,650, ahead of Subratie with 53 wins, 43 seconds, 42 thirds and Stakes of $58,528,280, and Nunes with 61 wins, 65 seconds, 55 thirds and Stakes of $55,821,775.

6. THE RESIGNATION OF GENERAL MANAGER LORNA GOODEN

It came as a surprise to many inside and outside the racing circle when it was announced that Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) General Manager Lorna Gooden had resigned from her position in the latter part of the year. Gooden made the transition from the parent company of SVREL, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), in early 2019 when she was appointed as general manager. One of her main achievements was to guide horse racing, especially its many stakeholders, through the period of the novel coronavirus pandemic. During the pandemic racing was suspended for three and a half months in 2020, plus there were several weekend lockdown phases from 2020 to the end of 2021.

7. DANE NELSON'S 1,200TH CAREER WIN

Dane "The Warrior Chief" Nelson provided more evidence to support the claim that he is one of the best in the saddle when he reached the milestone of 1,200 career winners aboard the Richard Azan-conditioned Scooby in the third race at Caymanas Park on February 26. The man from the community of Waterford in St Catherine — a stone's throw away from the racetrack — became the fifth jockey in the history of thoroughbred racing in Jamaica to ride 1,200 or more winners. Winton "Fanna" Griffiths (1663 wins); Trevor "Slicer" Simpson (1473 wins); Shane "Canter Man" Ellis (1,293 wins); and Charles "Bogle Man" Hussey (1239 wins) have won more races than Nelson.

8. ATOMICA'S BLISTERING RUN IN THE JAMAICA CUP

On November 12 Atomica dismantled rivals in the second staging of the $6-million Jamaica Cup in a new track and Stakes record, sending racing fans into a frenzy. It may have been a nine-and-a-half-furlong (1,900m) event but the Oakridge Farms-owned Atomica led from the first jump in a dominant 16-length win during the three-year-old and upward Graded Stakes contest, stopping the clock in a scintillating time of 1:57.3. The time done by Atomica erased the previous mark of 2:00.2 set by 2021 Horse of the Year Further and Beyond in 2011.

9. AZAN SADDLES MILESTONE 700TH CAREER WIN

Trainer Richard Azan became the 10th trainer in Caymanas Park racing history to saddle 700 or more career winners when his three-year-old bay colt Whisky won the Royal Lancaster Trophy on December 18. Ridden by Dane Dawkins, Whisky beat rivals by 2 1/4 lengths in the Restricted Allowance call for native-bred three-year-olds (non-winners of two). The final time was 1:16.1. Azan follows Wayne DaCosta (2,290 winners); Philip Feanny (2,081 winners); Anthony Nunes (1,246 winners); Allan Williams (1,120 winners); Kenneth Mattis (1,070 winners); Laura Eileen Cliggott (976 winners); Richard Todd (810 winners); Gary Subratie (746 winners); and Aston Commock (709 winners). Only Feanny, Nunes, Subratie, and Azan are still active at present.

10. MOHAGANY'S SCINTILLATING RUN IN THE IAN LEVY CUP

Mahogany staked a solid claim for Horse of the Year honours with an impressive win in the 8 1/2-furlong (1,700 m) Ian Levy Cup — a Graded Stakes — on Saturday, December 31, 2022, capping off the season with five wins from eight starts and earnings of more than $7 million. Mahogany, who had also won the Gold Cup over 7 furlongs (1,400m), finished fourth in the US$125,000 Mouttet Mile behind Excessive Force whom he turned the tables on in the Ian Levy.

Winner of the Mouttet Mile — Excessive Force (Dane Dawkins)
Atomica winning the Jamaica Cup with Dane Dawkins in the sqaddle.
Champion jockey Dane Dawkins (left) with his main rival Anthony Thomas
Champion trainer Jason DaCosta with one of his many winners in 2022
Lorna Gooden
Dane Nelson
Mahogany winning the Ian Levy Cup with Dane Dawkins aboard.
Richard Azan celebrates his 700th win with his wife, Monique.

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