WINNIPEG, Canada – Barbadian Antonio Whitehall led a string of Caribbean successes as he rode a brace on the seven-race mid-week card yesterday.
The 24-year-old, who arrived at the Manitoba Oval two years ago, rode winners in race three with Arlen’s Prospect and in race four with Unscrewed, to move into second place in the standings on five wins.
Jamaican Paul Francis, who also tasted success on the card, is also on five wins, with Adolfo Morales leading the standings on eight.
Whitehall found the winner’s enclosure for the first time in a five-furlong sprint when he made every inch of the running with 3-1 choice Arlen’s Prospect to beat the three-year-olds and upward by 1-1/4 lengths.
The four-year-old bay gelding drove clear early on and lacked any real challengers in the lane when it mattered.
Whitehall doubled his tally in another five-furlong sprint, guiding favourite Unscrewed to a crushing 12-length, front-running win over the three-year-old and upward maiden fillies and mares.
The six-year-old mare was under early pressure from Follow Me Gals but steadily drew off to open up a massive lead.
Jamaican Dane Nelson also found success in race five over 5-1/2 furlongs, partnering with favourite Hey Bro to dismiss the three-year-old and upwards by 1-1/4 lengths.
Francis grabbed his win in another 5-1/2 furlong trip, pushing favourite Justa Halfer to a 2-3/4 length victory over the three-year-olds and upward.
And Barbadian Renaldo Cumberbatch also weighed in in the day’s final race, bringing 9-4 bet Lucky’s Pat with a late run to beat three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by 2-3/4 lengths.
In more racing action in Canada yesterday, veteran Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands kept up his decent start to the new season at the Woodbine racing track with a double.
Husbands, who celebrated his 45th birthday last week, scored with 4-1 choice Tinker Ring in race two before following up with victory aboard 7-5 chance Bear Kitty in race six.
Husbands, a seven-time Woodbine champion, has 20 wins for the campaign which got underway April 21, with Rafael Hernandez top on 42 and Eurico Rosa da Silva second on 22.
Riding on the seven-race card at the prestigious western Canada Oval, Husbands opened his account over a mile when he brought four-year-old gelding Tinker Ring from off the pace to beat the three-year-olds and upward by a length.
Storm Hawk and Southern Greatness duelled through the half-run in 46.62 seconds before Husbands navigated Tinker Ring out of mid-pack, bid with a furlong to run and got clear with a sixteenth left.
Husbands’ second win came in a six-furlong sprint when he combined with three-year-old chestnut filly Bear Kitty to get the better of the three-year-olds and upward by a length.
He chased and caught early leader Princess Macy mid-turn, dismissed the threat following a short duel, before holding well late under pressure from Lallas Princess.