By Kent Layne
The Sean Hall-owned and trained Joshua ran down Defiant David and his brother Jericho to win the BTBA Breeders Sprint by a slim nose over Stealin, in a thrilling photo-finish at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday. It was a race that had spectators jumping for joy in excitement.
Sent off as the 6 to 5 favourite, Joshua ran the 1100 meter event in a time of 1 min 06.4 seconds on a good to firm track to win the $20 000 event.
Breaking from Gate 4 Defiant David set opening fractions of 25.0, 48.4, as he was quickly joined by Jericho.
Joshua had quickly passed Jericho at the two-furlong marker as his jockey Affrie Ward chose to come between Defiant David and Jericho.
Stealin was switched to the outside turning into the home straight by jockey Rickey Walcott as Defiant David and Jericho dropped off the pace and a battle was on with Joshua.
Battling down the lane Affrie Ward was keeping Joshua up to his work by hand-riding strongly while Rickey Walcott was giving Stealin right-hand reminders with his whip as they both flashed pass the finish-line together.
Race caller Lindon Yarde had called Stealin as the winner and her hailers were jumping for joy but Affrie Ward had punched the air as he was sure he and his mount had snatched victory.
When the judge brought out the photo- finish it showed Joshua had won by a nose over Stealin. Spectators had called it a dead heat, so close it looked to the naked eye.
Joshua has now won 10 races from 29 starts with his lifetime earnings now over $160, 000.
Stealin’s full sister Stolen, the defending champion, rallied on to finish third as she failed to do what her full brother Areutalkintome did in 2010 and 2013 winning the Breeders Sprint twice.
Asha Syndicate’s Too Much Bling ran a corker to finish fourth. He had not raced for 77 days and was the lowest rated horse in the field at 59.
The forecast paid $24.75, daily double $19 00 and trifecta $54.65
Rasheed Hughes won three races on the day to move to 23 wins for the year. He was the leading rider on Saturday. Andrew Nunes and Akeem Walcott had two wins apiece to be the day’s leading trainers.
Next race day will be September 7.