SPARKS were flying yesterday morning at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, when trainers learned indirectly that the turf course was not being made available to them. They were even more incensed when Plant and Premises manager Stephen Jardim, who was going out on one of his horses on the main track, responded in an uncompromising manner to Derby-winning trainer, Derick Mosca who asked him if the turf track will be opening. Jardim responded: "If an announcement is not made the track is not opening."
This statement prompted calls for Jardim to go. Trainer John O'Brien, a member of the Arima Race Club (ARC), was then asked by fellow trainers to do something. He stated that there is an agreement between the ARC and the Racehorse Trainers Association that weather permitting, the track will be made available to them. Conditions was perfect for horses to train on the turf, and since most trainers had already made preparations for their charges to train, they were caught unawares and had to change their plans.
However, a call to ARC's chief executive officer Chris Armond saved the day and he gave the green light to former jockey Venice Richards to make an announcement that the track will be opening.
Around the Carnival season, trainers always have problems with grooms and jockeys, and the horses suffer. And when incidents like yesterday occur, they are further pressured.
When the workouts eventually began, some horses turned in personal best workout times, owing to the hard and fast track conditions. Maidens Measured Response and Precise Moments turned in an excellent 48.59 on the turf.
Their times were so quick that their clockings on the main track were not comparable.
Even importation Schylers Gold, who is campaigning of a rating mark of 32, turned in a very fast 47.67 on the turf, while maiden Diamond Queen bred for turf came alive with a very good 36.03 over 600 metres. Maiden Mambo Lady also turned in a very good 49.89 with Casino Host over 800 metres.
On the main track, there was some fireworks also, as last year's Easter Guineas winner Unquestionable fired a very good 48.50 with Black Genius over 800 metres and three-year-old maiden Star Entertainer turned in a very good 34.45 from the gates.
Unraced Urban Knight and stablemate Ex-Study Lanu fired a bullet 22.46 from the gates. Even Gabby's Gold looked very good in his solo spin over 1,000 metres in a good 1:01.93, while Golden Dixieland with Gary Laban in the saddle turned the tables on Strikes Not Spares over 1,000 metres in a good 1:03.30, with Strikes Not Spares partnered by Sheldon Rodrigo made to work.
Here are yesterday's recorded workouts:
400 metres--Wild Excitement 24.73 good, Bird King 24.64 good; Gold Coin 27.15 handily; Sweet Parang Music 26.43 handily; Western Movie on turf 23.15; Dazzlin on turf 28.81; Purple Touch and Arch Angel 23.02 from gates; Urban Knight and Ex-Study Lanu from gates 22.46; First Emperor 26.32 handily.
600 metres--Luca's Gold 38.96 handily; Dazzling Diamond 36.78 good; Ann's Star 42.68 pacing; Sparkling Silver 40.31 handily; Messi and Ex-ice Fog on turf 41.57; Diamond Queen on turf 36.03; Royal Banker on turf 36.03; My Only Son 38.22 on turf; Readyforstanley and Big Profit 37.53 handily; Damage Control 44.62 pacing; Bas Choice and Honour Roll from gates 36.14; Star Entertainer from gates 34.45.
800 metres--Against The Odds 52.80 handily; Onefortheroad 53.50 handily; Free Passage 50.75 handily; Street Justice and Run Ron 54.39 handily; Safra Tilah and Fleet Admiral 58.76 pacing; Super Sonice 54.78; Ex-Formal Honors, Pure Happiness and Convoy 51.66 handily; My Ari 57.88 pacing; Schylers Gold on turf 47.67; Hidden Agenda on turf 54.53; Measured Response and Precise Moments 48.59 on turf; Wildwildwes 51.19 on turf; Nominee on turf 48.52; Satya Treasure on turf 50.60; Naugthy N Nice on the turf 51.45; Mambo Lady and Casino Host on turf 49.89; Unquestionable and Black Genius 48.50 good; Oasis and Raise Your Glass 50.84 handily; Iconic and Stormy Frontier 50.87 handily; Piston Rings 59.35 pacing.
1,000 metres--Settled 1:08.59 handily; Slippery Sam 1:08.51 handily; Golden Dixieland better than Strikes Not Spares 1:03.30 handily; Young Dinaro 1:13.55 pacing; Gabby's Gold 1:01.93 good; Wild Shuffle 1:06.29 handily; The Right Time better than Bandwagon 1:03.77; Galveston 1:05.56 handily; Luna Divina 1:11.52 pacing; Big Man 1:06.15 handily; War Of Words and Pot Of Gold 1:10.52 pacing.