Groom Shamar Griffith watched his charge Déjà Vu take the first leg of the Barbados Triple Crown – the Barbados Guineas – by a head over the exciting War Eagle in front a good crowd at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday, the first race day since March 7 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 70th running of the Barbados Guineas was a showdown of grooms. Griffith was in charge of Déjà Vu and his dad Evans Beckles was groom for War Eagle. War Eagle was returning to races after having just one start last year on August 1 which was a winning debut.
As the field rocked away, the Sir David Seale-owned Dominus showed a clean pair of heels setting the pace followed by Conflict of Interest , Ollivander and Déjà Vu in that order passing the stands for the first time.
Two furlongs out War Eagle and Déjà Vu flew past the pace-setter with War Eagle putting his head in front but a stubborn Déjà Vu fought back to defeat War Eagle by a head at the finish line.
Owner Mark Armstrong was enjoying his second Guineas win after winning it for the first time with Aston Martin, the sire of Déjà Vu, in 2012. And groom Griffith was all smiles as he was also enjoying his second Guineas win after looking after Nekitta who took the 2013 running of the Guineas defeating Déjà Vu’s dam Vanity Affair into second place.
Winning Jockey Rasheed Hughes was tasting victory in the first classic of the Barbados Triple Crown and is looking forward to taking the second leg on the next race day on November 21.
The Victor Cheeseman-trained Ollivander ran a nice race to place third. Cheeseman who also trains War Eagle will be looking to stop Déjà Vu from having a crack at the Barbados Triple Crown in the Midsummer Classic.
Rounds Table stud farm’s Ruth ran on for fourth. She has a 100 per cent placing record in the top four, now having two wins, two seconds and three fourth place finishes in seven starts.
The winning time was 136.1, forecast paid $16.65, Trifecta $39.00, Superfecta $211.95.