Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
On an eventful day, the stewards disqualified two winners at Caymanas Park yesterday, including 2-1 second favourite SWEET TRAIL in the L.C. McKenzie Memorial Cup over 1200 metres for open allowance horses.
SWEET TRAIL, ridden by champion jockey Dick Cardenas for trainer Patrick Chang, came through on the rails leaving the furlong pole to outfinish and beat the 8-5 favourite RAISE A RUCKUS under leading all-time jockey Winston Griffiths by a neck.
However, following a lengthy stewards' inquiry and objection, SWEET TRAIL was disqualified and placed second and the race awarded to the American-bred 5-y-o horse RAISE A RUCKUS.
SWEET TRAIL, who was outpaced in mid-field for most of the way before advancing up the rails leaving the quarter pole, was penalised for causing interference to fifth-past-the-post UNCLE DONNY (22-1) on the inside entering the straight, and placed fifth.
JET SETTER (15-1), who passed the post a close-up third, was awarded second place and the Feanny-trained REASONABLE PRESS at 14-1 promoted to third in a field of 10.
Down to the wire
In a hotly contested race, RAISE A RUCKUS on the inside battled for the lead with SIR VON (77-1), REASONABLE PRESS and NYABINGHI (11-1) throughout the backstretch and it went down to the wire when SWEET TRAIL came on the scene in the last furlong.
Earlier in the afternoon, the fourth race over 1400 metres to be exact, the stewards not only disqualified first-past-the-post CHECKITOUT, the 8-5 favourite, but took it a step further by axing runner-up, THE PRIMEMERLINIAN, as well.
The race was awarded to third-past-the-post CHRISTMAS GIFT (9-5), who was squeezed out when coming with his run between both horses early in the last furlong with Richie Mitchell aboard. CHECKITOUT, ridden by Robert Halledeen, was placed second and THE PRIMEMERLIAN third.
Although out of luck aboard SWEET TRAIL, Cardenas rode two winners on the 10-race programme in 9-5 favourite ANTOINETTE (made all) in the fifth race and MAYBE I SAY SO (6-1) who completed a triple for trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes in the Track Price Dig Out Handicap.