Impressive run by Noon It Is
Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
The progressive American 3-y-o filly NOON IT IS duly completed the hat-trick at Caymanas Park yesterday, but was pushed to the limit by 16-1 outsider PALACE GOLD in the open allowance sprint for three-year-olds and up.
Installed a 3-5 odds in the 1100-metre, NOON IT IS, with four-time champion jockey Omar Walker riding for trainer Gary Subratie and leading owner Michros, won by half a length from PALACE GOLD under top-line jockey Paul Francis in a field of eight.
NOON IT IS, who was notching her third consecutive win over 1100 metres, covered the distance in another smart time - 1:05.4 - behind splits of 23.0 and 46.0 for the half mile.
Outpaced in the backstretch as PALACE GOLD, RIO COBRE (3-1) and the well-backed SARAGOSSA (5-2) vied, NOON IT IS made rapid headway to straighten a close fourth on the wide outside.
Although pointing ahead of PALACE GOLD on the rails a furlong out, NOON IT IS had to be driven out with the right hand stick in the closing stages to hold the advantage to the wire.
Subratie, who saddled two winners on the card and saw a third (PRIESTKING) suffering disquali-fication after passing the post first in the eighth race over 1820 metres, was pleased with the performance of his rising star.
"She won in another fast time and the visor has definitely worked wonders for her since it was fitted for the first time when she won on March 3," said Subratie.
On a day when officials at CTL said the handle showed a marked increase due to protest action by the bookmakers who ceased sales on local racing yesterday over a rights fees row, Subratie completed the last double when 3-5 favourite AL-AFIRITE (Ameth Robles up) won the closing maiden race for three-year-olds in decisive fashion.
Earlier, 3-1 chance PRIESTKING, ridden by leading all-time jockey Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths, was disqualified and placed second for causing interference to 8-5 favourite CUTTER midway through the last furlong and the race awarded to CUTTER, one of two winners for jockey Rayan Wilson.
Wilson had earlier booted home the Raymond Townsend-owned and trained SMOKIN MAN (6-5 favourite) in the Master Blaster Trophy over the straight-five course, the grey colt covering the distance in the smart time of 0.57.3.