Former native champ Prince Crystal and Tortola’s Lake Texoma shocked local racing fans by pulling of two huge upset wins during Thanksgiving Day races at the Randall “Doc” James race track on Sunday.
Prince Crystal, the champion native thoroughbred of years gone by, overcame major injuries during the past year to come back and crush a field of seven other natives by six lengths to win the first running of The Valmy Thomas Memorial.
Lake Texoma, a three-year-old colt from Tortola, shocked local racing fans when he went gate to wire to upset the overwhelming race favorite, El Real Madrid, in the Turkeyball Classic.
In the Thomas Memorial, the fourth race on the card, Jockey Elmo Barnes kept Prince Crystal just off the pace in fourth place during the early stages of the race. At about the midway point of the backstretch Barnes asked his steed for a little more, and the bay colt responded and began reeling in the leaders. He took the lead around the far turn and from that point on the thing left to decide in the race was the order of finish from second place to eight.
With the Prince pulling away for the easy victory, a battle ensued for second place between Dinero with Angel Viera in the Iron and Creation Rebel with Kevin Krigger aboard. Creation Rebel was eventually able to get to the wire just ahead of Dinero to claim second, but the battle was so intense that the jockeys had to be separated after the race.
Prince Crystal negotiated the 1-1/16 miles distance in a time of 1:50.
Many local race fans expected the fifth race, The Turkeyball Classic, to be a walk in the park for new V.I. champ El Real Madrid, but the L & B Racing Stables contingent that travelled from Tortola with Lake Texoma felt confident enough in their horse to come to the big island to challenge El Real in his own backyard.
That confidence proved to be well founded when the grey colt took the lead at the break and never looked back. Lake Texoma, with jockey Sunday Diaz in the irons, blazed his way around the track, setting impressive fractions at every check point. Some thought the pace was too fast and that he would probably tire near the end, but that was not to be as Lake Texoma went on to wire the field in a not-too-shabby time of 1:44.2 for the 1-1/16 miles distance.
The race favorite, El Real Madrid, finished a disappointing third as he was overtaken in the home stretch by Temo’s Dream, who ran one of his best races since coming to St. Croix.
According to reports, El Real Madrid was far from 100 percent on Sunday, but don’t tell that to the folks from Tortola whose horse avenged a loss three weeks earlier to El Real Madrid on St. Thomas. As one BVI islander put it, this race showed the real Lake Texoma, while revealing El Real Madrid as El Fake Madrid. The head-to-head matchup is now one win apiece, which makes their third encounter a must-see event!
The rest of the day’s results:
Race1 7F Classes I-4 & I-5(M/F) & I-6 C/G Jockey
1. Devil’s Revenge, Steven Powell
2. Far Rumor, Elmo Barnes
3. YIMC Sword, Myris Rivera
Race2 6F Classes I-5 & I-6 (C/G), Jockey
1. Wiseman’s Choice, Junior Inirio
2. Formerly Cat, Jason Sanchez
3. Neerly Nasty, Kevin Krigger
Race3 1M Classes I-2 & I-3, Jockey
1. Walk the Catwalk, Elmo Barnes
2. khun Dan, Junior Inirio
3. Flankers Lady, Kevin Krigger
Race5 7F Classes I-1, 2 & 3 M/F, Jockey
1. Finish in Style, Miguel Sanchez
2. Cinque Terre, Angel Viera
3. Leggy Blonde, Wilfredo Lozano
Race6 1-1/16M Native Breds, Jockey
“The V.I. Lottery Native Classic”
1. From Emeralds to Ruby’s, Wilfredo Lozano
2. Miss Kosi, Elmo Barnes
3. Small Fortune, Kevin Krigger
Race7 1M Class I-1 & I-2, Jockey
“The Selosa Classic”
1. Sum Splendor, Chrintian Soto
2. Puertorican Emblem, Junior Inirio
3. Green Sand, Angel Viera
Race8 5F Open Race, Jockey
1. Rocketing Returns, Angel Viera
2. Groomsman, Elmo Barnes
3. Piquante Cat, Junior Inirio
Race10 1 M Classes I-4 & I-5, Jockey
1. Blackjack Bob, Jason Sanchez (DQed to 4th)
2. Ala Cat, Mickey Nieves
3. Black Machine, Myris Rivera
4. Big Thunder Reflec, Wilfredo Lozano (Awarded 3rd on DQ)
(Big Thunder Reflec’s foul claim against Blackjack Bob was upheld)