There will be no Triple Crown winner this year after favourite, Scrumpum, was beaten during Sunday’s APUA Inet Sir Cuthwin Lake Super Sprint, the second leg of the Antigua Triple Crown Series, held at the Cassada Gardens Race Track.
Thoroughbred He’s Sensational, running out of gate 7, produced a new track record of 1:11.89 to crush the field, finishing ahead of newly-imported Maximum and race favourite Scrumpum, to stun patrons at the facility on Sunday.
Scrumpum had easily taken the first leg of the Triple Crown Series, the Black Pineapple Stakes, three weeks ago with He’s Sensational following in the third position.
Owner and trainer of He’s Sensational, Norman “Roco” Dyett, said his horse was destined to be champion.
“Sensational came here to bang (beat) Scrumpum. Sensational beat Scrumpum in St. Thomas but a lot of people don’t know that he’s from St. Thomas. He ran his first race [here] and he came second, in his second race he came second and in his third face he came first. The first leg of the Triple Crown he came third and in the last one he won that race running on the outside all the way so Sensational is always improving,” he said.
Ironically, Dyett had threatened last week to pull his horse from the race after voicing his displeasure over the method used to gate the horse.
The names of the horses were pulled from a bag during the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Observer Radio and gated in the order that the names were pulled. The issue, Dyett said, has since been settled.
The owner sought to, once again, clear the air on his gripe.
“I called in out of a need to see my number being pulled and not to complain about whatever gate I’ve gotten. In the first leg they gave me number 6 gate and there was no complaint. All I asked for was to see Sensational’s number picked and that is the right way so not because they do something once, twice or three times means it’s the right way,” he clarified.
The race day was
however not without some controversy after the final event was declared a “dead heat” between Bobadila and Massacre. Action finished third.
The race, according to President of the Antigua Turf Club (ATC), Neil Coachrane, was too close to call even with the help of video footage and the turf club was forced to make a decision on the issue.
“People would say it didn’t look that way or whatever but from our perspective and yes, we have a gentleman who films the races and he’s filming from the side of the commentators. The judges are looking at it from the other side and I would say that when you review evidence to overturn, it has to be conclusive and I think we also have to be looking at it from the angle from where the judges are seeing it,” he said.
In Sunday’s opening race, Pepper Step took the top prize over six furlongs while Ital dominated race number 2 over seven furlongs. Race 3 was taken by Carol Vontrell while Clapping Hands was best in show for race number 4.