Drummer Boy wins Lotto Classic as DaCosta bags four-timer
CHAMPION trainer Wayne DaCosta yesterday posted a stinging four-timer, including a sweep of the Lotto Classic Governor's Cup and Lotto Sprint with 5-1 shot DRUMMER BOY and Horse of the Year SHE'S A MANEATER, respectively.
The 17-time champion trainer combined with Gary Richards for three of his four winners, including the Lotto Classic, whereas Omar Walker rode a well-timed race aboard SHE'S A MANEATER to storm past rivals a half-furlong out in the 1100-metre Sprint.
DRUMMER BOY put on a bold front-running display from postposition one, hugging the rail going past the stands for the first time, held his position down the backstretch and crippled the field leaving the half-mile marker with his light impost of 51.0 kilos.
MY SISTER tried chasing before giving way to the trio of OUTRAGEOUS TAJ, LIGHTNING MCQUEEN and 2-1 favourite, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, whose race was technically over under 56.0 kilos from three furlongs out, with Walker furiously pushing the colt to make up ground on his relaxed stablemate.
DRUMMER BOY spun into the lane with a four-length lead over OUTRAGEOUS TAJ and stayed on strongly to win by three and a half lengths from the late-charging pair of topweight MARQUESAS and ROYAL AVIATOR, who were separated by a neck at the wire.
DRUMMER BOY's run was a turnaround in form after finishing a dismal 10th in last month's 2000 Guineas, four and a half lengths behind third-place WITHOUT EXCEPTION and six and a half off the winner, COMMANDER TWO, who he had just failed to beat in his previous race.
CHANGE OF EQUIPMENT
However, DaCosta made a change of equipment for the Lotto Classic, refitting DRUMMER BOY with the blinkers, which he had replaced with a visor in the Guineas after his big run to COMMANDER TWO.
DRUMMER BOY revelled with the return of his blinkers, clocking 2:10.3 for the 10-furlong trip, though a full second slower than the 2:09.3 Anthony Nunes' FAYROUZ had posted in the Jamaica Oaks three weeks prior with 57.0 kilos.
However, the fillies had run on a fast track, which was subsequently graded during the first week of May, which cancels any appearance of advantage the faster Oaks time could give, heading into the June 30 Jamaica Derby.
Richards was undoubtedly the star of the show, pushing his tally to 10 winners, all for DaCosta, since returning to the saddle locally after spending three decades on the North American circuit.
Richards started his three-timer with DaCosta's LUANA in the sixth for maiden three-year-olds, easily winning at odds of 7-5, before booting home back-to-back winners for the champion trainer, RADICAL at 3-1 and mild 5-1 upsetter DRUMMER BOY.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday with DaCosta holding a significant lead atop the trainers' standings over Nunes, who posted two winners, BIG BLACK NATION in the seventh and ICTUS in the 11th.