THE CATEGORY FINALISTS for the 2012 Jetsam Awards have been named and votes have been cast by a seven-man committee comprising chairman Roger Hadeed, Dave Lamy, Shammi Kowlessar, Byron Persad, Douglas Bennett (trainers representative), Lester Moore (racehorse owners representative) and Hugh Henderson.
At the Presidents Box, Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain yesterday, the list of finalists for the Awards was made available to the press. Some questions were also raised.
Hadeed was asked how trainer Stephen Jardim's Mobthewarrior, winless on the turf, could be a contender for the Champion Turf Performer, but Cactus Amour, who won and finished second in his two runs on the turf, was not a finalist.
Furthermore, chairman Hadeed was asked how Rock Movistar, who won the Champagne Stakes on the turf and also beat Mobthewarrior in the Champagne Stakes, and Just Call Me Roger (also nominated) was not nominated. In response, he said: "I am on the selection committee, there is a panel called the nomination panel, which is headed Chris Armond along with member Gerry Hadeed and racing secretary Robin Jaisingh."
Reached to clear the air, a member of the nomination committee said: "Mobthewarrior was a lot more consistent than they (Cactus Amour and Rock Movistar) were on the turf in the class of races they ran in. I am not saying they did not perform."
Cactus Amour raced twice on the turf, finishing second in the Champagne Stakes to Rock Movistar and winning his first start on the turf beating Just Call Me Roger and Mobthewarrior. Mobthewarrior finished third twice on the turf and was unplaced twice.
Pressed further to find out why Free Passage, who won the 2,000-metre Trinidad Derby Stakes was not nominated in the Champion Creole Stayer category, but picked in the Horse of the Year category, the source said, "that was an oversight."
The other finalists in this category are Bruceontheloose, Esquire and Galveston.
Further pressed to find out why Lady Angelica, who was winless in 2012, was nominated ahead of Legally Ready in the Champion West Indian-bred three-year-old fillies division, and why War Of Words who finished second to Headline News and Prince Zeshan was still nominated in the Champion two-year-old category colts and geldings, the source said he did not want to cast any negativity on the Awards.
Reached to find out why he or his committee members did not question the nomination committee, Hadeed said: "Well again, I am not saying I recognise everything you told me. I am not going to interfere with their nomination. We shall have a final process on the nomination. We could maybe look at expanding the size of both panels. The more ideas the better. In America they have over 200 people voting. I did not question it because each panel had its duty."
And at Tuesday's press conference held in the Presidents Box, Queen's Park Oval to launch the Jetsam Awards ceremony, set for February 1, Arima Race Club (ARC) chief executive officer Chris Armond announced some strong financial incentives.
He said the ARC is now looking at having the Triple Crown series and the Champion Stakes bonus of $1 million returned. Armond said when finalised, it will be $500,000 for any horse winning the Triple Crown series—the 1,800-metre Easter Guineas, the 1,900-metre Midsummer Classic and the Trinidad Derby Stakes—and $500,000 if the same horse goes on to win the 1,800-metre Champion Stakes. Previously, it was $250,000 for the horse winning the Triple Crown series and $750,000 if the same horse wins the Champion Stakes.
Carnival Messiah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 2001, and in 2003 Top Of The Class won the $1 million after taking all four races.
Here are the finalists in the various categories for the 2012 Jetsam Awards:
Horse of the Year: Bruceontheloose, Free Passage, Just Call Me Roger, Onetokeep, Montejo
Champion Two-year-old filly: Always A Princess, Safra Tilah, She's A Cutie
Champion Two-year-old colt & gelding: Big Man, Headline News, Prince Zeshan, War Of Words
Champion W.I. Three-year-old Sprinter: It Got To Be Me, Legally Ready, Nettoyer
Champion W.I. Bred Three-year-old filly: It Got To Be Me, Lady Angelica, The Big Squeeze
Champion W.I. Bred Three-year-old colt & gelding: Big Thing, Free Passage, Nettoyer, Onetokeep
Champion Creole Sprinter: Bruceontheloose, Candy Man, Skyline Pigeon, Slippery Sam
Champion Creole Stayer: Bruceontheloose, Esquire, Galveston
Champion Imported Sprinter: Sacred Trust, Signal Alert, Readbetweendlines
Champion Imported Stayer: Mobthewarrior, Montejo, Strikes Not Spares
Champion Turf Performer: Just Call Me Roger, Mobthewarrior, Sacred Trust