She’s A Maneater awesome in Diamond Mile triumph

By Lance Whittaker November 09, 2019
Jockey Omar Walker is comfortable as he takes She's A Maneater across the finishing post on the way to a famous Diamond Mile triumph. Jockey Omar Walker is comfortable as he takes She's A Maneater across the finishing post on the way to a famous Diamond Mile triumph.

Winston Kong’s super mare She’s A Maneater reeled off a majestic stakes record win in Jamaica’s rich Diamond Mile at Caymanas Park on Saturday afternoon to prove herself the island’s best thoroughbred.

Surging to the front coming off the final bend under regular rider Omar Walker, the 3-5 favourite and 2017 horse of the year was unchallenged down the homestretch of the JA$14.5 Million (US$104,000) event and won by five lengths over her previously unbeaten stablemate Stranger Danger (6-5) in a Diamond Mile record one minute 35.20 seconds.

“It was a fantastic performance from a fantastic filly,” said trainer Wayne DaCosta after a remarkable fourth Diamond Mile win in the race’s five-year history.

“As I have been saying, I think she is the best filly, in fact the best horse ever to race at Caymanas Park,” added the 18-time champion DaCosta, whose one-two finish keeps alive his hopes of challenging leader Anthony Nunes for the 2019 Trainers’ title.

After the 2018 Lotto Classic winner Drummer Boy led briefly out of the starting gates, the 5-1 third favourite Toona Ciliata sped through on the inside to lead with Stranger Danger in close attendance along with 99-1 outsider Uncle Vinnie.

Down the backstretch, Toona Ciliata led narrowly from Stranger Danger while She’s A Maneater cruised up on the outside to challenge, with 2019 Triple Crown winner Supreme Soul (9-1) and Sentient (37-1) struggling to handle the Grade 1 pace.

She’s A Maneater quickened to lead by two lengths coming off the final bend as the projected titanic clash between her and Stranger Danger fizzled.

A few cracks of the whip right-handed from six-time champion jockey Walker saw the Natural Selection – Ahwhofah mare speed past the eighth pole in total command, before closing out a polished second Diamond Mile triumph in three years.

“She was so great in the mornings (at exercise) and I was pretty confident, she is in the best shape of her life,” Walker said after his third Diamond Mile victory.

The result was also partial redemption for her disappointing non-participation in last year’s Diamond Mile when she was scratched in a bizarre starting gate incident. With the field almost fully loaded, She’s A Maneater bolted from the gates when she was spooked by the horse beside her Peking Cruz’s fractious behaviour.

She’s A Maneater’s winning time on Saturday smashed by a long way the previous Diamond Mile record of 1:36.40 by Seeking My Dream and gave Walker his third winning ride in the BG&LC/SVL sponsored event.

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    The four-year-old colt headed to the United States late last year for the Caribbean Classic at Gulfstream Park but has been unable to return to Jamaica after testing positive for the tick fever virus.  Based on existing protocol, the Veterinary Services Division has insisted that the horse be treated for the virus in the United States, but with the disease not endemic to that region the drugs need to treat the animal are not readily available.

    In the meantime, according to Nunes an email from the USDA stated that the horse had spent more than 44 days straight in a 10 by 10 feet quarantine isolation stall, which does not typically hold animals longer than 15 days.  The trainer believes the action borders on inhumane.

    “…If the USDA is telling you that it is inhumane to do that to this animal are you telling me that veterinarians from the country of which this horse was born are saying no you cannot come here, that you do not have a humane bone in your body to worry about this horse mentally and physically,” an irate Nunes told the SportsMax Zone .

    This horse represented his country, it’s no fault of his own.  It’s like Usain Bolt going to the Olympics, catching the flu and you tell him he can’t come back home,” he added.

    A part of the trainer’s grouse is based on the fact that he believes the tick fever virus is pervasive on the island, with over 50 percent of animals at Caymanas Park carrying markers for the disease.

    “For Veterinary Services Division to say that they cannot accept Supreme Soul back into Jamaica makes absolutely no sense.  In fact, if he was to be shipped back to Jamaica he shouldn’t even have to go through quarantine because the truth of the matter is that of the 1200 horses he is going to mix with at Caymanas Park, 1199 of them are already probably carrying the tick fever virus."

    According to the trainer, the USDA will not able to get tick fever medicine to treat the horse until around March, by then it could cost approximately $US40,000 to keep the horse in the United States.  At that cost, the trainer believes it could come down to a business decision, which could see the horse euthanized.

    “You are putting the owner in a position now where you are saying to him this going to cost you $US40,000 through no fault of yours or the horses and we are going to have to suck it up. No.”

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