BLUE Vinyl, in a performance which represented class, talent and all his fighting qualities, impressively defeated rivals to win the 96th running of the $4.5-million Jamaica St Leger, sponsored by BetMakers Technology Group, at Caymanas Park on Saturday.
It was expected to be his sternest test to date but the Patrick Lynch-conditioned Blue Vinyl made his assignment look very much easy in defeating race favourite, the unbeaten filly Atomica by a commanding 4¼ lengths in the native-bred three-year-old Futurity contest over 10 furlongs (2,000m). The final time was recorded at 2:07.3.
In winning the Jamaica St Leger, the chestnut colt Bern Identity out of the Haynesfield mare Blufield remained on course for possible Triple Crown glory, having won the 2000 Guineas in early June.
The win provided owner Michael Gayle of MNM Racing Stable his first win in the Jamaica St Leger Classic and his second Classic winner overall.
It was an even start, with the 13 runners spread across the track. But passing the stands for the first time and going into the clubhouse turn, Brinks (Reyan Lewis) — on the inside rails — showed the way ahead of Blue Vinyl and Atomica (Dane Dawkins).
Entering the main track Roman took Blue Vinyl off the pace a bit and allowed Atomica to challenge Brinks for the lead down the backstretch. Blue Vinyl then made his move at the half mile to test Atomica on the headline, and the two leading, native-bred three-year-olds at present were locked in a stirring duel approaching the distance.
Under strong handling from Roman in deep stretch, Blue Vinyl gained momentum in deep stretch and edged away for a comfortable win in the end, his third on the trot. Brinks held on well for third place as D Head Cornerstone (Andre’ Martin) finished in fourth place. The splits for the event were 23.4 x 49.2 x 1:13.4 x 1:39.4.
The third race in the Triple Crown, the Jamaica Derby, during which Blue Vinyl can become a Triple Crown winner in racing, is set for August 6.
Racing continues this weekend with races on Saturday and Sunday.
— Ruddy Allen