Black Pineapple Stake winner confident of going all the way

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Jockey Michael Semple said he was always confident of taking the first leg of the Antigua Turf Club’s (ATC) Triple Crown Series, even after stumbling out of the starting gate.
Semple, who rode The First Lady to victory in the Black Pineapple Stakes at the Cassada Gardens Race Track on Sunday, believes that the horse, running out of the Chief Rocker Stables, can go all the way.
“The plan was just to go, take it easy with [The First Lady] because I know she is a strong horse. When the gate opened I expected I would have been a bit closer but I saw Jeff Jacobs [just ahead of me] and I said ‘well, that’s it, it’s my day today; I know I am going to get it home’. I think we have a very good chance winning all three and the next one is just preparation with the horse,” he said.
The First Lady ran ahead of U Better Believe It and jockey Jeff Jacobs and Lil Miss Perfect who were second and third, respectively.
Jockey Gerard Defreitas, who piloted Lil Miss Perfect, said a gate malfunction may have caused him the race.
“Technical difficulties on the gate’s behalf where the other gates opened but mine did not on time so it gave the others a little head-start on me. Whereas I would have needed that even break where all of the gates would open on time but it was a good race. I think my chances were lost when the gate did not open on time. I had to work too hard coming from behind,” the jockey said.
Meanwhile, owner of U Better Believe It, Jerry Roberts said he would not push reports that his horse may have just clipped The First Lady at the finish but instead, seek to upset the apple cart in the next instalment for the series.
“You can’t cry over spilt milk. It was a good race and the race was either won or given to First Lady and she ran a hell of a race and the jockey rode a heck of a race so [we will] leave it at that and try to stop her for the next leg. She is the winner, she is the only one who has a chance now of winning the Triple Crown,” Roberts said.
Sexy Kuba dominated the day’s final race, the A1 & lower event over 6.5 furlongs, while Serpent won the B3 and lower contest. Fresh Milk continued to dominate her field with victory in the D2 & lower with The Dan taking the Grace Kennedy Freshman’s Class event.
Boobe Alley was also triumphant on Sunday with victory in the E2 & lower while the day’s opening race was captured by Pay Me D Money.

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