Thu | Feb 25, 2021

Race days increased at Caymanas

Published:Friday | January 22, 2021 | 12:12 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Horses in the early stages of the third race over 1820m at Caymanas Park, in Portmore, St Catherine on Saturday, January 16, 2021. The race was won by BERN NOTICE, ridden by Omar Walker.
Horses in the early stages of the third race over 1820m at Caymanas Park, in Portmore, St Catherine on Saturday, January 16, 2021. The race was won by BERN NOTICE, ridden by Omar Walker.
SHARPE
SHARPE
DARBY
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Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Chairman Solomon Sharpe says that the number of race days for this year has been increased from 80 to 85.

Plans are also being made for an increase in purse this season.

“For the past few years we have been a bit conservative as a brand and we have been running 80 races, and what we have done is to write to the (Jamaica) Racing Commission to have 85 races this year, and as we move along, potentially we want to take it to 90 races,” Sharpe said. “As we continue to evaluate the horse population, we might be able to add some more races.”

Sharpe says that once the company’s finances improved then Supreme Ventures will increase the purse monies for races; but for now, there will only be a purse increase for select races.

NO PROFIT

“In four years, we have not made a profit, so I think we have to make a profit first before we can really revisit those things,” Sharpe said.

“There will be weekends and there will be days when we will have added purse money on races on all that kind of thing, so we will continuously take our time and tweak it as we go along until we get the product in great standing.”

United Racehorse Trainers Association President Ryan Darby welcomes the increase in race days, but says the body is desperate for an increase in purse.

“The increase in races is a very important move for us because as stakeholders, it costs a lot of money to maintain the horses, so by increasing the number of race days, you are increasing the earnings potential for the owners, trainers, and stakeholders,” he said. “We are long overdue for a purse increase because we are planning to have discussions with them come February.

“Coming into this year, the company seems to be doing very well and the stakeholders have been holding it, so it is crucial for us to get a purse increase because all the products have increased as the US dollar is sliding.”

It was also announced yesterday that the Triple Crown series will run off on June 5 and 6 with the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas races, which will be run over 1,600m.

The Jamaica St Leger, which will be contested over 2,000m, will run on July 3 while the Jamaica Derby, which will be run over 2,400m, will take place on August 6. BetMakers has been announced as the new sponsor for the quarterly championships.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com