By all accounts, Temo’s Dream has been a disappointment on the racetrack since coming to St. Croix.
After all, this is a horse that had run in stakes’ company on the U.S. Mainland; but in eight starts at different levels in the Virgin Islands had yet to grace the winner’s circle.
Sunday afternoon, however, was a different story as the Marvelle Maldonado-owned dark brown gelding stormed from last place to win the Agriculture Fair Classic feature race by three-quarters of a length over Puerto Rican Emblem.
The overwhelming favorite, Lake Texoma from the British Virgin Islands, was a disappointing third, two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner. Temo’s Dream negotiated the 1-1/16 mile distance in a time of 1:47 over the newly resurfaced track.
At the break, as expected, the speedy Green Sand was quickest out the gates and rushed to the early lead. Right there in his hip pocket, however, was the heavily favored Lake Texoma.
By the time the field reached the grandstand for the first time, the field was well spread out with Green Sand some 12 lengths in front of last-place Temo’s. As they rounded the clubhouse turn, it was still Green Sand and Lake Texoma in a speed duel on the front end, returning fractions of 22 and 46 seconds for the quarter and half, respectively.
Eire’s Run ran third, and then Puerto Rican Emblem, Spanish Market, and Temo’s Dream still far off the pace. Midway down the backstretch, the hot pace was too much for Green Sand, and he began to fade as Lake Texoma cleared the field.
Puerto Rican Emblem, who was running a big race, moved into second and took up the chase at the three-eights, but at the same time a buzz could be heard coming from the crowd as Temo’s Dream began making a huge run from last place.
Was this gelding about to finally live up to expectations?
He quickly ran by Eire’s, Spanish Market and the tiring Green Sand, and was gaining with every stride on the leaders around the far turn.
It was obvious to every one that the fast early fractions were now beginning to affect Lake Texoma. Jockey Sunday Diaz tapped him a few times with the whip, but didn’t get the usual response from his mount.
As the field turned for home at the top of the stretch, Lake Texoma had the lead but it was shrinking fast.
They bunched as they ran down the home stretch, with Puerto Rican Emblem and jockey Victor Lebron on the inside, Lake Texoma in the middle of the track, and the hard-charging Temo’s Dream and jockey Chikki Santiago coming hard on the outside.
The crowd was now on its feet and cheering loudly as they realized that a huge upset was in the making. What many race fans thought was going to be a walk in the park for the favorite had actually turned into a horse race.
Temo’s Dream’s momentum carried him right by Lake Texoma and Puerto Rican Emblem to a well-earned and much-deserved first victory in the territory.
The rest of the day’s results:
Race 1 7 F Classes N-6, Jockey
1. Midnight Indictment, Victor Lebron
2. Joe boss, Elmo Barnes
3. Dehroadismine, Clinto Cantois
Race 2 7F N-2, 3, 4, & 5, Jockey
1. Irie Ites, Chrintian Soto
2. Gold Finger, Jesus Guadelupe
3. Emerald Star, Victor Lebron
Race 3 7 ½ F Class I-5, Jockey
1. Cool light, Myris Rivera
2. Russian Way, Miguel Sanchez
3. Itsmidas, Christian Soto
Race 4 1 M Classes I-4 & I-5, Jockey
1. Blackjack Bob, Benjamin Lopez
2. Original Runner, Sunday Diaz
3. My Own Sky, Winston Hurst
Race 5 1 M Classes I-1, I-2 & I-3 M/F, Jockey
1. Finish in Style, Elmo Barnes
2. Leggy Blond, Chikki Santiago
3. Cinque Terre, Angel Viera
Race 6 7 F Classes I-2 & I-3, Jockey
1. Starship Voyage, Christian Soto
2. Expect Smoke, Angel Viera
3. Akebono, Victor Lebron
Race 8 7 ½ F Classes I-4 & I-5, Jockey
1. Destiny Arrival, Winston Hurst
2. Sarasota May Bell, Victor Lebron
3. Apron’s Dance, Jesus Guadelupe