The man who has ridden the most winners overall (1,663) and also the most Classic winners, Winston “Fanna” Griffiths, will have his name forever marked in the annals of local racing with the inaugural running of the Winston Griffiths Classic.
The event, Winston Griffiths Classic, a 9 ½ furlong (new distance) race, is scheduled for September 4 and is for native-bred three-year-old non-winners of a Grade 1 race, allowing a maximum field of 12 for a purse of $3.75 million.
This and other announcements on projected races and the introduction of new distances for the second half of the year were made on Wednesday afternoon (June 16) by the promoting company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited.
“It is a signal honour for me to be recognised by the racing industry for my achievements in racing.
“To know that after so many years to put on such a prestigious race on my behalf is something which I appreciate a lot and I hope that this race will be well supported and prove to be one of the better races during the course of the racing year,” Griffiths said.
The distance of the Winston Griffiths Classic, 9 ½ furlongs (1,900 metres) sees the introduction of new racing distance, which is still pending approval by the regulatory body of racing, the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC).
“This distance is popular in North America, with mainstays such as the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico and the Confraternity Classic in Puerto Rico – won by the 2005/2006 Horse of the Year Miracle Man,” Denzil Miller, racing secretary, said.
Another new 9 ½ furlong race that will be added to the calendar is the Jamaica Cup, a Grade One (three-year-old and upwards) race event slated to be run on November 13, pending approval by the JRC.
The Jamaica Oaks will be run on August 7 to support the last leg of the Triple Crown, the 101st running of the Jamaica Derby on August 6. The Jamaica Oaks, this year will be sponsor by Front Runner.
The first major two-year-old race for 2021 is set for August 2 with the Supreme Ventures (SVL) Two-Year-Old Triple Series starting in October. The SVL series will enter its 17th year and features the Cash Pot (six furlongs) in October; the Pick3 (seven furlongs) in November and the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes (one mile) on Boxing Day.