Watch: Juice Man fends off Apocalypse for Derby win
A roar of anticipation erupted from the large crowd on hand to witness the last of the Triple Crown races of the equine racing calendar, when the starter let the 10-horse field go, at Santa Rosa Park on September 24, Republic Day. The Carib Brewery Limited Trinidad Derby Stakes, as it is known to spectators and punters alike, did not disappoint.
Juice Man, the pre-race favourite, owned by Justyn Kanta Persad and trained by Glen Mendez, along with Apocalypse, owned by Anthony Wight and trained by John O’Brien, provided an entertaining and thrilling event right up to the winning pole.
Though Morengo, owned by Roma Sagan Maraj and one of the five trained by John O’Brien along with La Reine, the only filly in the race, owned by Knights Bloodstock Racing and trained by Terrence Thomas, had bites of the lead during the 2000 metres race. It was Juice Man and Apocalypse who provided the excitement in the closing metres of the race.
Trainer Glen Mendez, speaking to Loop News said, “We knew Juice Man would run a big race… I had seen Apocalypse work, his final piece of work was a brilliant piece of work and that told me he would probably bounce right back and run even bigger than he had run before.”
Mendez lamented that his instructions to veteran jockey Ricky Jadoo were followed and he praised the jockey for a perfect race. He described the race as a “Regal battle”. Juice Man held his nerve to win by half length after he and Apocalypse had pulled away from the rest of the field with 300 meters to the finish. The race was clocked at 2:05.00. Making Headlines and Regal Intension were third and fourth respectively.
Owner Justyn Kanta Persad was elated at the win, though experiencing some anxious moments during the last hundred metres. He said Juice Man showed signs of improving after every race since arriving in Trinidad and Tobago from Jamaica where he was bred.
Both Mendez and Persad told Loop News that the next outing for the Derby winner would be the Champion Stakes in October.
In the other feature of the race day, The Carib Brand Diamond Stakes was won by General JN trained by John O’Brien, who took the 1350 metre race ahead of Master of War an outsider at 19/1 and third Thisoneisforron.
For the results of the day’s races, you can visit http://www.arimaraceclub.com/Results.html.