The controversial decision to scratch St. Thomas' Twisted Dream at the gate did not detract from the excitement of the Premier's Cup race as another St. Thomas horse, Bud White outlasted the field to win the coveted title at the Ellis Thomas Downs this afternoon, August 7.
Bud White clocked 1:54.4 to erase the previous track record of 1:56.4 set by Captain Slew in 2008 over the 1 1/8 mile distance.
The purse for the Premier's Cup is $15,000 and was sponsored by the Premier, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith.
Bud White celebrates victory on Tortola
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Reigning two-time Governor's Cup champion, Good Prospecting offered the only challenge to Bud white, but faded in the waning moments of the race to finish second. Finishing third was Diablo's Fire from St. Thomas.
The race was delayed for more than 10 minutes as track officials tried to squeeze Twisted Dream into the starting gate, but he refused to enter. Officials decided to start the race with Twisted Dream standing outside of the gates, much to the disappointment of its owners, who made their feelings felt to officials.
Blood in the Sand took the first race of the day with a gate to wire victory in the Alex Ritter Classic for a purse of $3,500, which was sponsored by LIME.
The Tortola horse owned by Tiger and Sade Williams clocked 1:30 to finish ahead of St. Thomas' Charlie The Runner, Power Ten, Rey Miestro Jr. and Ten Storm.
The second race of the day saw St. Thomas' Mr. Gold Prospect overtake race leader Formal King, also from St. Thomas, to win the Monroe Thomas Memorial Cup in a 7 furlongs race for a purse of $4,000.
Formal King settled for second place and Tortola's Queteparce Cholito finished third. Original Runner and Dashing Pirate were scratched from the race.
Mr. Gold Prospect clocked 1:29.3 in the race which was sponsored by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.
After some anxious moments at the start due to a gate problem, the third race of the day made for an exciting climax of the Allen 'Tiger' Hodge Memorial Cup.
L&B Stables' All Country trailed St. Thomas' Khun Dan and Tiger's Glider by at least two-horse lengths before he sprinted to the lead and eventually an easy victory in the 1 mile encounter.
All Country finished the race in 1:44.3 to claim the purse of $4,500, which was sponsored by Colonial Insurance. The other horse in the race was Tortola's Gaffalione.
L&B Stables' Robert Brady said that jockey executed exactly how he was told to approach the race.
"We told the jockey to sit behind and then make his move. We expected Khun Dan to do the same, but he went ahead. We knew our horse would have caught the leaders; it's a mile and we never had any doubt about the race," Brady stated.
In the fourth race, the Jerriel Thomas Memorial Handicap went the distance of 1 mile for a purse of $6,500, sponsored by Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn.
St. Thomas' Miss Tequila was scratched leaving St. Thomas' Goodeveningofficer to go head-to-head against against Tortola's Out of Wine.
The two horses were together for most of the race until the waning moments when Goodeveningofficer surged to the lead to claim victory in a time of 1:46.1.
The jockey for Out of Wine of L& B Stables filed a protest, but it was turned down by track officials upon review from a video camera.
Tortola's Really Up Town and Broken Home went head-to-head for most of the fifth race, which was the BVI Sprint Classic over 6 1/2 furlongs and a purse of $7,500, sponsored by the BVI Tourist Board. However, Really Up Town opened a small lead and maintained it to the finish. Placing third was Tortola's Ease My Mind which was never in the race.
The final race was held as the cover of night seeped over the Downs. In a time of 1:45.1, St. Thomas' News carrier secured the Ellis Thomas Memorial Cup sponsored by Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser for a purse of $5,500.
What's Popping from St. Thomas and Tortola's Mick G rounded out the field in the 1 mile encounter.