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Monday, December 11, 2006

Ya Mon

- Fernando Jara has been having hassles with his soon-to-be ex-agent Randy Romero, and he's 0-for-30 at Aqueduct since they switched over to the inner track. But, representing his native country of Panama in the Caribbean Horse Racing Series, or Serie del Caribe, at El Commandante in Puerto Rico, he won the $300,000 Clásico del Caribe (the Caribbean Derby) at El Comandante in Puerto Rico aboard Ay Papa (Proud Truth).

The $100,000 Copa Confraternidad was won by Miracle Man, representing the island nation of Jamaica. It was the first time that a Jamaican-bred had won this race, or any race of import outside the country for that matter, and the win reportedly set off wild celebrations. It sounds as if there were high times, indeed.

Caymanas Park exploded with excitement, the likes of which has never been seen, when MIRACLE MAN, the reigning 'Horse of the Year', surged into the lead entering the straight and proceeded to edge away from rivals leaving the furlong pole.

When the big chestnut crossed the finishing line to record his 11th consecutive win and his 10th this year, the excitement among punters who watched the race live via simulcast was so intense that words alone cannot describe it. [Jamaica Gleaner]
Apparently, no Jamaican Classic winner had even left the country to race since 1991 before Miracle Man set off last year (he didn't get to race due to a medication positive). And this column in the Jamaica Gleaner discusses the decline of the breed in the country, where the sport remains popular, and comes up with the usual suspect.
There can be no question the talent level in horse population was of a much higher quality in the 1960s, '70s and '80s when British bloodstock still had a very strong influence in the breeding sheds.

The virtual disappearance of European bloodlines, especially coming from the British Isles, has led to a deterioration of the talent and durability of the local equine population.

The explanation of course is that American bloodlines, because of the legal use of medication, talented horses with bleeding and lameness problems can race successfully and then be allowed onto the stud farms to breed these defects into their progenies.

The Europeans, in the face of much criticism from across the Atlantic, continues its two and half century stand against the use of raceday medication.
- Johannesburg Star is a two-year old son of Johannesburg who romped by nine at the Big A on Saturday, earning a Beyer of 102. That's the third highest fig by a juvenile this year His trainer, Joseph Parker, has a career-high three wins this year, and he told the Form: "You know what the dream of every horse trainer is, to just have that one [big] horse.....This is my dream right now. The possibilities are great." He's looking down the road to the Derby, of course, despite the fact that it was the horse's fifth start and came against a crummy field. The Form reports that the mailbox on his cell phone was full; let's hope for his sake that amongst the callers isn't a certain Sheikh trying to reach the colt's owners.