Kronus hits Lotto jackpot
Running on strongly in the closing stages, KRONUS got up in the nick of time to score a 22-1 upset in the 75th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup for native bred three-year-olds over 2000 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Ridden by the recent Oaks winning jockey Richard Mairs, for big-race trainer Richard Azan and champion owners Elite Bloodstock Limited, KRONUS finished with a flourish to catch and beat 2-1 marginal favourite SEEKING MY DREAM under four-time champion Omar Walker by a neck, with highly fancied POKER STAR (5-2) finishing another 41/2 lengths away third with in-form Robert Halledeen riding for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.
Ten three-year-olds contested the $3 million race, the final prep for the June 23 Cal's Jamaica Derby over 2400 metres, but despite the absence of the respective Guineas winners ALI BABA from the DaCosta stables and the Azan-trained filly PUDDY POOH, the race was truly run from start to finish.
The 7-1 chance ROAD WI SEH under top apprentice O'Brien White ensured a strong early pace as he led for over 1000 metres, ahead of the chasing pair of POKER STAR and 2-1 chance SIEMPRE BUENO with big race jockey Shane Ellis aboard.
SEEKING MY DREAM, who was never far off the pace, came through on the outside to assume the lead from POKER STAR and SIEMPRE BUENO approaching the distance, but although looking the likely winner when two lengths clear leaving the furlong pole, just failed to withstand the closing rush of KRONUS.
KRONUS completed a golden run for Mairs, who four weeks earlier won the Jamaica Oaks for fillies over 2000 metres with 8-1 chance MOM'S STUDENT for trainer Fitzroy Glispie.
"Although only a few people gave him a chance, I knew that Kronus would impact on the outcome in a big way," said Mairs.
"I fancied his chances going two turns and was confident he would stay the distance. I knew the pace would be hectic so I was able to relax him in midfield and come the last two furlongs. He gave me everything leaving the furlong pole and the fact that he went off at long odds, I am really happy with this victory," he added.
Azan, who had previously won this race with DORVAL in 1995, SIR DONALD in 2002 and ERASMO in 2011, said it was all in a day's work.
"I was quietly confident that he would make it given the light impost and going two turns for the first time. Mairs rode a peach of a race and with the derby three weeks away, I think he is where he needs to be at present to make another statement," said Azan who has won the rich Superstakes on four consecutive occasions with MENUDO (1999-2002) and three times with MARK MY WORD.
tremendous rail run
Earlier in the afternoon, the reigning champion sprinter POTCHEEN (4-1) with Omar Walker riding for trainer Harry Parsard, produced a tremendous rail run with topweight of 57.0kg to win the $1.5 million Lotto Sprint Trophy (grade one) over 1100 metres in a driving finish from FORTUNEONEHUNDRED (16-1, chased) and long-time leader TALENTED TONY K (6-1) in a field of nine.
On a day when Supreme Ventures feted 1200 of its agents under the in-field tent, the Pick-9, helped by a number of upsets, stumped punters again and the carryover to tomorrow's holiday raceday is $9,629,039.70.
Halledeen rode three winners on the 12-race programme in DRIPPING IN GOLD, MISS JUANITA and PERFECT FLYER.
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