MOMENTUM, unbeaten in his previous six career starts, and on course for Triple Crown success, tasted defeat for the first time in what proved to be an unlucky seventh racecourse appearance yesterday at Santa Rosa Park, to fellow Jamaica-bred Urban Knight.
The Glenn Mendez-trained Urban Knight, owned by Mohali Stables and ridden by Wilmer Galviz, scored by one length from Momentum, Wild Shuffle and Bandwagon in a fast 1:20.4, in the event which was run over 1,350 metres on the main track.
This race was supposed to be Momentum’s final prep ahead of the final leg (the Trinidad Derby Stakes) of the Triple Crown series. However, although defeated, he was not disgraced.
Sent off as the raging 1/5 favourite in the 1,400-metre race for three-year-old and over horses rated 80 -50, Momentum did not go down without a fight in a contest that was moved to the main course because of rain.
Leaving the start, Black Genius, Urban Knight and Momentum disputed the lead, but Black Genius’ hopes of maintaining the gallop was short-lived, as Urban Knight on the outside and Momentum, who was the cheese in the early “sandwich” went ahead.
Galviz tactically kept Brian Boodramsingh on Momentum on the inside, and then opened a three-length lead approaching the home turn, forcing Boodramsingh to come around him.
Momentum came tumbling at Urban Knight inside the final 200 metres, but the tactical move by Galviz approaching the home turn worked in Urban Knight’s favour.
The John O’Brien-trained Triple Crown contender, who has so far won the first two legs of the Triple Crown series—the Easter Guineas and the Midsummer Classic—now has 31 days to give O’Brien his first Triple Crown success.
In the day’s opener, leading trainer Harold Chadee, who will start a three-month suspension from tomorrow, took the day’s opener with Bonnie to maintain his lead ahead of O’Brien in the trainers standings.
And to reinforce his position at the top, Chadee took the fifth race with Cramers Rule. This was another prep for three-year-olds, and O’Brien’s Justcallmebas and High Octane, failed to fire in 1,750-metre event for three-year-old and over horses rated 70-55, with Justcallmebas sent off as the 3/5 favourite finishing a disappointing fifth with Galviz aboard, and High Octane third.
Justcallmebas took up the running passing the 900-metre pole, but Cramers Rule shot past him, and went into a four-length lead, but started to wilt inside the final 300 metres. However, he still had enough legs to take him home ahead of a fast-finishing Red Howler.
Juan Mosca took the second race, which was also moved from the turf with Rosie’s Dream, who survived an objection, while young trainer Lester Alexis took the fourth, another race moved off the turf, with Strike Gold partnered by Romario Hernandez.
And trainer Ramesh Ramroop basked in the brilliance of the afternoon sunlight when he recorded his first success from six career runners, with 50/1 outsider Best Defence running away from his field under Stanley Chadee.
The seven-year-old gelding scored from Super Easy, The Conqueror, Really Classy and Precious Diamond.
One person won the Hi-5, and Superfecta, walking away with the bonus for both bets.
Racing action is expected to continue next Saturday with a possible eight-race card.