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Guavaberry Star Cruises to Easy Victory in Round One of Native Triple Crown

Sept. 3, 2007 — Guavaberry Star exploded in the home stretch Sunday to win the first leg of the Cruzan Rum Native Bred Triple Crown by four lengths over arch rival Fantastic Four.
Delroy Thomas’ talented filly left no doubt that she is now the overwhelming favorite to sweep the remaining two races of the native championships after covering the one-mile first leg in 1:43.
It was an even break at the gates, with all the horses getting away well. Fantastic Four held a half-length advantage as the horses crossed the grandstand for the first time. Bronco Jig momentarily took the lead at the clubhouse turn as Fantastic Four went a little wide.
As they turned up the backstretch, the four-horse field was bunched, with Fantastic Four once again holding a slight advantage. Bronco’s Jig ran second, Fightforyourrights third and Guavaberry Star was less than a length off the lead. Midway down the backstretch, Guavaberry Star and jockey Angel Stanley made their move and quickly drew even with Fantastic Four and jockey Junior Inirio.
As the horses approached the far turn, Bronco’s Jig and Miguel Sanchez were fading fast, and Fightforyourrights with Edgar Walker was already out of the race. Guavaberry Star took her first lead when she put a nose in front around the far turn, but there was no quit in Fantastic Four as they battled almost as one to the top of the stretch.
On the turn for home, Fantastic Four went a little wide, but the filly made a great turn and quickly opened up a couple of lengths on him. It was evident in the stretch that she was having the better turn of foot of the two as she continued to pull away.
Guavaberry Star crossed the finished line a good four lengths clear of the second-place Fantastic Four, with jockey Stanley standing in the irons, his whip in the air in triumph as he saluted the grandstand crowd. Bronco’s Jig was a distant third, with Fightforyourrights even farther back in fourth.
“Last race we beat them in the match race, and all I keep hearing since then is that we had to use a battery to beat them (the Fantastic Four camp)," Thomas said. “I was not at that race because I was in the hospital, but I know she was in good hands in Bernard Brown and Jose Felix. They also said that she could not run under pressure, but we showed them today and pressured them. She played with him last time, and I will tell anybody: If she is sound, they can’t beat her.”
In the eight-race Innovative Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile open race for top import thoroughbreds, Silver Horn from St. Thomas toyed with a five-horse field before winning by five lengths. Ridden by Stanley, Silver Horn stalked the early pace set by the speedy Crafty Smile with Elmo Barnes in the irons. He really kicked it into high gear around the far turn, collaring Crafty Smile in the process, and went on to a relative easy win. A game but over matched Crafty Smile was a clear second, followed by Gallego and jockey Inirio another three lengths behind in third. Zirito and Overpayment were distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
The rest of the day’s results:
Race 1 6 F Class H, Jockey
Time: 1:21.2
1. Big Pimping, Junior Inirio
2. Secret Weapon, Elmo Barnes
3. Every Dollar Counts, Edgar Walker
Race 2 7/1-2 F Class F2&G
Time: 1:42.3
1. King David, Junior Inirio
2. Weapon Queen, Christian Soto
3. Mario Candelario, Alphonso Claudio
Race 3 7 1/2 F Class E
Time: 1:33.4
1. Sarazen Blade, Elmo Barnes
2. Honour Bonus, Alphonso Claudio
3. Prospector Fever, Miguel Sanchez
Race 4 7 1/2 F Classes C&D
Time: 1:34.2
1. Danzig Mon, Alphonso Claudio
2. Oriental Tiger, Christian Soto
3. Premier Plan, Angel Stanley
Race 5 1/1-16 open M&F
Time: 1:46.3
1. (1) Caribbean Colony, Junior Inirio
2. (1A) Trick Hunter, Jesus Guadelupe
3. She’s Got the Helm, Angel Stanley
4. Betty Rae, Alphonso Claudio
Race 6 1 M Classes B&C
Time: 1:39.1
1. Strong Passer, Junior Inirio
2. Formally Cat, Jesus Guadelupe
3. Secrets Flying, Miguel Sanchez
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