WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Barbadian Antonio Whitehall stretched his lead to 20 at Assiniboia Downs with another impressive brace yesterday, while Trinidadian Stanley Chadee Jr shared the spotlight with a double, to keep tabs on second place in the jockeys’ standings.
Now the firm favourite to win the 2020 title, Whitehall snatched wins in race one with favourite Vallentay and in race four with another favourite Ima Danger.
Chadee, meanwhile, clinched race three with 13-1 outsider Hellocountrybumkin before returning to win the final event of the eight-race card with 9-1 bet Bunchofcash.
Whitehall has 50 wins for the season with Rafael Zenteno lying second on 30 but Chadee closing quickly, only five back in third on 25 wins.
Jamaican Neville Stephenson sits fifth on 18 wins with Trinidadian Richard Mangalee sixth on 13 wins.
Whitehall, whose form has been irrepressible since the season opened May 25, wasted little time in reaching the winners’ circle when he combined with five-year-old chestnut mare Vallentay to win a seven furlong trip in race one.
Up against the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares, Vallentay stalked pacesetter Say It’s Not So before gaining a short lead coming off the final turn and getting a strong run through the lane to reach the wire 1-¼ lengths clear.
Whitehall missed out in the next two races before returning to winner’s row in a 5-½ length sprint when he guided seven-year-old mare Ima Danger to a narrow win over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares winless since February.
Hurricane Emily and Celtic Gold disputed the early lead before Whitehall brought Ima Danger late to edge Razzlemedazzleme by a head.
Chadee’s success came first in a seven furlong trip when he piloted three-year-old bay filly Hellocountrybumkin to a 1-¾ length victory over the three-year-old upward maiden fillies and mares.
And he won again in a 5-½ furlong sprint, racing five-year-old gelding Bunchofcash off the pace before winning a stretch duel with Rocky Barbados to get home by 1-¾ lengths.
Meanwhile on Sunday Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott had a fabulous day at the Century Mile racetrack in Edmonton, Alberta. It may be early days yet but already Walcott is beginning to turn the screws on the season.
Walcott won four of the 10 races on the day’s card to complete a bumper weekend, which also saw him pick up three wins on Friday’s eight-race card at the western Canada racetrack.
Walcott now sits on 26 wins from 77 outings, 12 clear of second placed Rigo Sarmiento, laying the platform for a run at his maiden title at Century in the track’s second year of operations.
After not featuring in the curtain-raiser, he opened his account in race two over over a mile when he combined with favourite Tizthunderinow to edge the three-year-old and upward maidens by a nose.
The pair duelled with 7-1 bet Smiley through the half in 47:12 seconds before getting clear in the lane. However, they then came under threat from Wiser Times and were forced to battle to the wire in a tight finish.
Walcott followed up immediately in race three when he piloted another favourite Backstreet Bobby to a dominant 4-¼ length victory over the three-year-olds and upward in a 6-½ furlong sprint.
The six-year-old gelding overcame a stumble at the start to race off the pace before bidding on the final turn, reeling in pacesetter Bionic Bird and storming through the stretch.
A short 4-½ furlong dash in race five provided Walcott with his third win of the card when he carried odds-on bet Bang On to a 1-½ length win over the two-year-old maidens.
And he capped off a fine outing when he won race seven with 2-1 chance Dense Fog, going six furlongs for the three-year-olds and upward.
Hard To Come Home out-sprinted West of Sabinal to the lead before Walcott brought Dense Fog from off the pace to challenge in the stretch and take the wire 2-½ lengths clear of his rivals.
The Century season got underway June 21 and wraps November 1. (CMC)