Gato Paso wins feature race in his V.I. debut
Published: July 9, 2012
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Gato Paso made the trip from Puerto Rico and showed that he may be a force on the local horse racing scene.
Making his V.I. debut, Gato Paso dominated a star-studded field to win the feature race - the Independence Day Classic - on Sunday at Randall "Doc" James Racetrack on St. Croix. Gato Paso, with jockey Jose Hernandez aboard, ran the 1-1/15 mile distance in one minute and 44.2 seconds to claim the $6,000 purse ahead of second-place finisher Puertorican Emblem and third-place finisher San Viron. The six-horse field also included Berberis, Eire's Run and Cracklin.
"He proved to be way too much for them," Traxco general manager Dennis Brow said of Gato Pass.
Race No. 8, the Open V.I. bred Buddhoe Classic, also saw a non-St. Croix competitor take the purse as Christian Soto rode St. Thomas' Master To Deposit to a win in the 1-mile race in 1:41.1 for the $4,400 purse. Creation Rebel took second, followed by Prince Crystal.
"Master To Deposit went up in class to challenge Prince Crystal, but he dominated from wire-to-wire," said Brow.
The day began with Steven Powell riding Diamond Colony over seven furlongs to victory in 1:31.8 seconds. Hilary Boss finished second, followed by King Yabo in third.
Hernandez jockeyed Hanna Boss to the first of his four wins on the day as they took the 7½-furlong Race No. 2 in 1:37 for the $3,800 purse. Midnight Indictment was second and Miss Kosi was third.
Race No. 3 saw Winston Hurst get the first of his three wins on the day as he jockeyed Turn To Win over one mile for the $4,000 purse. Ala Cat came in second, followed by Game Winner.
In other races:
- Hernandez and Dance Mistress won Race No. 4 over six furlongs in 1:12, followed by Destiny's Arrival and Rasta Queen.
- Hurst jockeyed victories in Races 5 and 6. What's Poppin won Race 5 in 1:31.4 ahead of According To Jesus and Full House Project, and Whoshotthesheriff won Race 6 in 1:39.6 ahead of Leggy Blonde and Watch Your Back.
- St. Thomas' Twisted Dream made his debut a memorable one, winning Race No. 7 with Miguel Sanchez aboard in 1:37.8 ahead of Political Reporter and Beantown.
- Hernandez closed the day with another win aboard Neerly Nasty in the 7½-furlong Race No. 10 in 1:33.4. Roberadorable finished second and I Confess was third.
The next races on the St. Croix racing calendar take place in two weeks on July 22.