Rider caught with 'battery' at the Park
Horse racing resumed on a sour note at Caymanas Park yesterday when reports surfaced midway the 10-race card that a rider had caught at the gate with what is commonly referred to as a 'battery'.
The rider was allegedly found with what appeared to be an electrical device at the starting gate.
A 'battery' is an electrical device used to jolt horses during races, supposedly to make them run faster.
One of the most infamous cases, internationally, involved Texas-based jockey Romaan Chapa, who was banned by the Texas Racing Commission on January 19, 2015, for allegedly using an electrical device on a horse at Sam Houston Race Park two days earlier.
Chapa was said to have contacted Sam Houston's track photographer, Jack Coady, seeking to get a finish-line photo of the race in question removed from the track's website.
The photo, taken from the rail side of the track rather than the grandstand side, showed what appears to be the bottom of the device in Chapa's left hand.
Meanwhile, the City of Kingston Centenary Cup was won by UNCLE VINNIE, who dug in determinedly a half-furlong out after being passed on the home turn by JACKO LINKS, rallying strong against the rail to beat the even-money favourite by three-quarter length at a mile.
Partnered by apprentice Kiaman McGregor, Gary Subratie-trained UNCLE VINNIE assumed the lead from SWEET DIMENSION five and a half furlongs out but appeared to have surrendered when JACKO LINKS effortlessly swooped down from third position and led into the lane.
Running strongly in mid-track, JACKO LINKS appeared to have the race at his mercy, with apprentice Reyan Lewis striking a picture of confidence, not realising that McGregor was conjuring a rally with UNCLE VINNIE.
Floating on the lead close home, JACKO LINKS had no response to UNCLE VINNIE's late rally, narrowly losing to the 7-2 shot, who clocked 1:40.0 for his fourth career win.
Apprentice Tevin Foster, who opened the 10-race card with TWILIGHT ERUPTION, also landed the sixth aboard Steven Todd's LAGUNA POINT to share riding honours with five-time former champion Trevor Simpson, who had got Todd off the mark with POLLY FLYER in the second.
Simpson returned to close his two-timer astride ELAL in the fourth, scoring a comfortable five and a half length win at odds of 5-2.