Formal King came to the U.S. Virgin Islands with high expectations, and many wondered after his lackluster debut whether he would ever deliver on his promise.
On Sunday in the 7.5-furlong feature race, he more than lived up to his billing by destroying a field of five that included the previously unbeaten Cherokee Law.
Formal King covered the 7.5 furlongs of the Bates Trucking Classic in a time of 1:32.4.
At the break, Formal King, with Kevin Krigger in the irons, wasted little time in racing to the lead. He was followed closely by Jockey Daniel Bernardini aboard Cherokee Law, who was coming off an eight-month injury layoff.
Charlie Cho, with jockey Elmo Barnes, was in third; Black Jack Bob, with Angel Viera in fourth; and newcomer United Deelites with jockey Alberto Ojeda bringing up the rear.
Formal King took the field into the back stretch with a one-length lead over Cherokee Law. At about the four-furlongs pole, Krigger asked his horse for a little more and he promptly opened up a two-length lead on Cherokee Law, who did not respond to the frontrunner’s move.
In fact, Cherokee Law was tiring badly, which enabled Charlie Cho and Black Jack Bob to run by him around the far turn. United Deelites was far back, and for all intents and purposes, out of the race.
At the top of the stretch, Black Jack Bob on the outside, appeared to gain on the leader as he blew by Charlie Cho, but it turned out to be a mere illusion as Krigger with his whip put away actually had Formal King drawing away from the field as they ran down the stretch.
The King crossed the finished line well in hand, winning by five lengths over Black Jack Bob. Charlie Cho finished third and a badly tiring Cherokee Law held on for fourth.
In the seventh race of the day for native thoroughbreds, ran at a distance of one mile, Creation Rebel sprung a major upset when he and Jockey Miguel Sanchez outdueled Krigger aboard Emerald Star for the victory in a time of 1:43.1. War with jockey Angel Viera was third with Native Champion, Prince Krystal and jockey Jesus Guadelupe a surprising last.
The rest of the day’s results are as follows:
Race1 5 F Class N-6, Jockey
1. Gold Finger, Steven powell
2. Teck That, Miguel Sanchez
3. Small Fortune, Kevin Krigger
Race2 5 F Class I5& M/F, Jockey
1. Cherokee Neesh, Alberto Ojeda
2. Devil’s Revenge, Steven Powell
3. Elston V, Winston Hurst
Race31 7 ½ F Class I5, Jockey
1. Mi Jesus, Angel Viera
2. Wiseman’s Choice, Kevin Krigger
3. Collegeville kid, Daniel Bernardini
Race4 1M I-2 to I-4 M/F, Jockey
1. Cinque Terre, Kevin Krigger
2. WonderIfIamSpecial, Elmo Barnes
3. Leggy Blonde, Angel Viera
Race5 1M I-3 & I-4, Jockey
1. My Own Sky, Jose Rios
2. Heats on Fire, Kevin Krigger
3. Formally Cat, Angel Viera