Prince Crystal continues V.I.-bred dominance with win on Sunday


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Prince Crystal is no stranger to winning because he's the only horse to ever win the Native Triple Crown Classic, which features only V.I.-bred horses. He did so two years ago, and has returned to his winning ways.

Prince Crystal topped six other locally-bred horses in the featured race Sunday - his third win in a row - at Randall "Doc" James Racetrack on St. Croix. With jockey Elmo Barnes aboard, Prince took the 7-furlong race in 1 minute and 28.1 seconds.

"The Prince won, and he dominated," said TRAXCO general manager Dennis Brow, whose staff held six races Sunday. "He won on St. Thomas, he won at the Ag Fair races on St. Croix, and he's done it again. He's definitely on a hot streak."

Express To Cali took second in the race, followed by Dinero. Prince Crystal and his handlers collected a $5,500 purse for his victory.

The fifth race of the day pitted the mares and fillies together, and Leggy Blonde pulled out the win. With jockey Juan Santiago aboard, she won the 7-furlong race in 1:26 to collect a $5,600 purse.

Finish In Style, a former champion among the ladies, was the runner-up as newcomer Watch Your Back, a recent purchase out of Tampa, Fla., made her debut and finished third.

"Some of the regular girls held their own against the newcomer," Brow said. "But I expect her to be in the mix for a while with the rest of them."

The last race of the day featured a few veteran horses - mostly Class B and C imports - as Expect Smoke ran away with the win.

Green Sand pushed the early lead but Expect Smoke made his move and exploded on the home stretch, Brow said. Blackjack Bob, a crowd favorite, made a push on the outside and finished second just in front of San Viron.

Jockey Brian Gonzales picked up his second win of the day - he also rode A Bit Of Madness to a win in the fourth race - as Expect Smoke secured a $5,600 purse for winning the 7½-furlong race in 1:32.

Many of the big-name horses are gearing up for the third leg of the Johnnie Walker V.I. Triple Crown Challenge, which will be held on St. Thomas on March 18. Slevin won the first race on Tortola, while Bud White was masterful in his territory debut and won the second leg on St. Croix.

The next event at the Randall "Doc" James Racetrack will be Easter Weekend on April 8.

- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email agray@dailynews.vi.

St. Croix Horse Races

Sunday, Randall "Doc" James Racetrack

Race 1 - 5 furlongs, $5,100

1. Master Deposit, C. Soto, 1:00.4

2. Hanna Boss

3. Tru Gold

Race 2 - 6 furlongs, $5,200

1. Rasta Queen, W. Hurst, 1:13.2

2. Excessively Classy

3. Dorado Missile

Race 3 - 7 furlongs, $5,600

1. Prince Crystal, E. Barnes, 1:28.1

2. Express To Cali

3. Dinero

Race 4 - 7½ furlongs, $5,300

1. A Bit Of Madness, B. Gonzales, 1:32.3

2. Game Winner

3. Salty's Glider

Race 5 - 7 furlongs, $5,600

1. Leggy Blonde, J. Santiago, 1:26

2. Finish In Style

3. Watch Your Back

Race 6 - 7½ furlongs, $5,600

1. Expect Smoke, B. Gonzales, 1:32

2. Blackjack Bob

3. San Viron

- Source: TRAXCO general manager Dennis Brow

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