The improving gelding Miniature Man recorded a booming win in the Jamaica 2000 Guineas on Saturday for owner Elizabeth DaCosta as her son Jason DaCosta logged his first Classic triumph at Caymanas Park.

Ridden by Panama-born jockey Dick Cardenas, the 2-1 second favourite Miniature Man fought off Nuclear Noon’s stout homestretch challenge to win the JA$3.75 million (US$25,195) Colts and Geldings Guineas by a length and a quarter just an hour after Trainer Ian Parsard also landed his first Classic victory with She’s a Wonder in the 1000 Guineas.

For Jason DaCosta, the Guineas win honoured his late father, 18-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, who died in March.

“It means the world, this one is dedicated to Dad,” said previously US-based DaCosta, who has returned home to take charge of his father’s barn of racehorses.

“This is a special one,” he added, reflecting on a tough year for the DaCosta family. His uncle, Elizabeth DaCosta’s brother Wayne McCulloch, had also passed away the week before Wayne’s death in late March.

Hyped as the absorbing rematch of the May 8 Kingston Graded Stakes dead-heat between Miniature Man and 2020 Champion two-year-old Further and Beyond, the 2000 Guineas was contextually anticlimactic as the 3-5 favourite Further and Beyond hardly threatened and finish third.

Down the backstretch, the 9-2 bet Billy Whizz, one of five DaCosta entries in the six-horse field, set the early 23.2 and 46.3 fractions, chased by 66-1 outsider Regal and Royal and Nuclear Noon (4-1).

The pace quickened leaving the half-mile with Nuclear Noon and Regal and Royal on the heels of the front-running Billy Whizz while Miniature Man gained rapidly in fifth and Further and Beyond looked troubled about eight lengths off the lead in seventh place.

Four-time champion jockey Dane Nelson roused Further and Beyond for a rapid move into third coming off the final bend but the pair of Miniature Man and Nuclear Noon had already escaped into a clear advantage.

That duel was riveting until Miniature Man edged away in deep stretch for the win, his third in a row and fourth in nine lifetime starts. Miniature Man clocked one minute 39 and 3/5ths for the eight-furlong win.

“It was a good race. The horse on the inside (Nuclear Noon) was a tough horse but my horse never gave up,” Cardenas said after his third Jamaica 2000 Guineas victory, adding to Mark My World (2010) and Uncle Donny (2012).

Earlier, She’s a Wonder delivered a flawless win in the 1000 Guineas for Fillies, scoring by 7-1/4 lengths as the 1-2 favourite for jockey Reyan Lewis’s first Classic success.

“It feels good to win a Classic at my age and I am thankful,” the 21-year-old Lewis said.

After a brief tussle with the 99-1 shot Silver Hawk early down the backstretch, She’s a Wonder cruised into a commanding lead and used splits of 23.0 and 45.2 to enter the homestretch more than six lengths in front of the 2-1 second favourite Secret Identity and Sure Curlin (48-1). In the end, the 7-1 bet Amy the Butcher (7-1) snatched second from Secret Identity.

Owned by Henry Pratt and the trainer’s wife Karen Parsard, the unchallenged She’s a Wonder clocked 1:41 and 3/5ths while stretching her winning streak to four races.

“She is a fantastic horse to train. We knew coming in that everything was perfect,” Parsard declared after the unchallenged win.

Jamaica’s Minister of Sports Olivia Grange and the State Minister Alando Terrelonge, have expressed sadness at the death of veteran racehorse trainer Wayne DaCosta who died today after battling the Covid-19 virus for the past few weeks.

He was admitted to the hospital in intensive care in February.

A major player in Jamaica’s horseracing industry for more than four decades, DaCosta won 18 trainer’s titles at Caymanas Park, the most ever by any trainer in Jamaica.

His death cast a pall over the country’s sporting fraternity including Minister Grange.

"I join with the family, the racehorse industry, and wider national sports family in mourning the passing of trainer, Wayne DaCosta. We had been praying for his full recovery and I had heard through his son, Jason, that Wayne was regaining his strength; so I was shocked to receive this very sad news today,” Jamaica’s Sports Minister said.

“Wayne DaCosta served horseracing with distinction. His contribution has been mammoth and his impact will continue to be felt for a long time.  Wayne DaCosta is simply one of the greatest trainers that Jamaica has produced and he quite rightly won the trainers’ title a record 18 times. If horseracing is indeed the sport of kings, then Wayne wore his crown with distinction.

“I offer deepest condolences to his widow, his children, and other members of the family.  I ask that we keep them in our prayers at this time.”

Terrelonge, the Member of Parliament for the constituency where Caymanas Park is located in St Catherine, was equally moved by the news.

“The King is dead. But long shall his legacy live,” he said.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of stalwart trainer and 18-time champion racehorse trainer, Wayne DaCosta. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the racing community.

“The sport of kings will never be the same without the majestic contribution of this giant of a man. He gifted us the likes of the unforgettable She’s A Man Eater and Stranger Danger who have decorated and electrified horse-racing in Jamaica.

“The track at Caymanas, located in my constituency of East Central St Catherine, is where I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Mr DaCosta. The constituency will be forever in his debt for helping to provide jobs and a livelihood to many residents.”

He continued: “We mourn this tremendous loss to the racing community but are encouraged that his legacy will endure for generations to come. I join with the family, the racehorse industry, and wider national sports family in mourning the passing of trainer, Wayne DaCosta.”

Veteran Jamaican racehorse trainer Wayne DaCosta, who was hospitalized in February, has died.

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