BIG MONEY UP FOR GRABS Last year, the winner, subsequent ‘Horse of the Year’ SEEKING MY DREAM, received a record $6.5 million, while lucrative purse money was paid to the first 10 past the post, an unprecedented move. In addition, a commemorative trophy valued at $500,000 donated by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission will be won outright by the owner of the winner, while the winning trainer, jockey, breeder and groom will also receive trophies. The launch, though put on this early for a race scheduled to be run in December, attracted the top executives from related entities, including Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited; Paul Hoo, chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited and Gary Peart, chairman of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission who conceived the idea for the Diamond Mile in the summer of last year. In a brief address, Peart said: “The BG&LC is pleased to report on the highly successful inaugural staging of the Diamond Mile , held just seven weeks ago, on Saturday, December 5, 2015, exceeded all expectations. The main objectives of the event were to stimulate growth of the racing sector, to increase revenue for the Government of Jamaica and to attract new target groups to racing, thereby also creating a positive cultural shift for the racing community and I am happy to report we achieved all of that and more. “The record for the highest handle ($66 million) for any one race was broken, so too the record for the most money spent on any one race, despite the fact that the inaugural Diamond Mile was held against competing high-profile events. “The turnout was excellent and all guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly,” said Peart, who disclosed that plans are in the pipeline of creating a five-year plan for the Diamond Mile including a week-long festival of racing. – O.C. Two major changes have been made for the second running of the $13.9 million Diamond Mile to be run on Saturday, December 10 this year. This was announced at the recent launch by CTL’s racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr, following consultations with racing stakeholders and the organisers of the event, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and corporate sponsors, including Supreme Ventures Limited. The organisers were responding to concerns among owners and trainers that last year’s inaugural running on December 5 saw the omission of a number of good horses who, despite their form, did not have the requisite lifetime earnings to force their way in the field (first 16). These horses include the Caymanas Invitational Mile winner PHINEAS, Caribbean Sprint Champion POKER STAR, as well as CAMPESINO and the vastly improved filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN. This has prompted two major conditional changes going forward. First of these is that the winners of the Jamaica Derby, the Superstakes, Caribbean Sprint Championship and Invitational Mile will get automatic entry into the race. The second change is that instead of lifetime earnings, the other horses will earn their place based on their year-to-date earnings from January 1, 2016 to December 3. Earnings gained from claiming races will not be considered. This year the race will offer a record $13.9 million (US$115,000) which represents an increase over last year’s purse due mainly to the movement of the Jamaican dollar against the US dollar.
“Our pitching was unbelievable,” Garciaparra said. “Brad did a great job and Broxton and Saito finished it. They’re a good offensive team and to be able to shut them down, that’s huge.” It figured to be a big night for Rockies starter Jason Hirsh, who made his Dodger Stadium debut. Hirsh, who attended St.Francis High of La Canada and Cal Lutheran University and makes his offseason home in Burbank, fared well in his 2007 debut when he beat SanDiego last Friday. With supporters cheering from a club-level suite, Hirsh (1-1) did well early but got rattled in the third inning due to a combination of heads-up base- running and timely veteran hitting by the Dodgers. After Penny stranded sixRockies in the first threeinnings, the Dodgers scored three times in the third. The two-out rally started with consecutive singles by Pierre and Martin, who then executed a perfect double-steal in which Hirsh, oblivious to the runners leading off, could only hold the ball and watch. Garciaparra followed with a sharp single to right to score both runners. “I did a little bit of homework before the game,” Pierre said. “(Hirsh) held the ball longer than I expected. I thought I was hung out to dry but he was committed to throwing to the plate. … I’ve told Russ to pay attention when he’s on base behind me. Every time he gets on, I make eye contact and say, `Heads up.’ I really didn’t think he would go. When I slid and looked back and saw him slide, I said, `Wow.”‘ Garciaparra moved to second on a balk and scored when Jeff Kent singled for a 3-0 Dodger lead. “That whole inning was huge,” Garciaparra said, “and it allowed Brad to continue what he was doing and it gave him some breathing room.” It seemed that the Rockies might bury Penny early, in a 24-pitch first inning, but with the bases loaded, Matt Holliday struck out and Brad Hawpe grounded out. “I wasn’t missing by much,” Penny said. “I was right around the plate. I got out of it, and after that I was fine.” email@example.com (818) 713-3611 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Penny (2-0) walked the bases loaded in the first inning but cruised after that and helped himself with a couple of quality defensive plays. The Dodgers did all their damage offensively in the third inning, when Juan Pierre and Russell Martin executed the perfect double-steal and Nomar Garciaparra drove them in with a two-run single. Penny retired 11 consecutive batters until, with his 108th pitch, he hit Chris Iannetta with a pitch and was pulled in favor of Jonathan Broxton. Penny allowed two hits, walked four and struck out three. “The guy was outstanding,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “From the fourth inning on, he hit a groove and he kept getting stronger and stronger.” Broxton recorded five consecutive outs and Takashi Saito pitched the ninth inning for his fifth save. The Rockies totaled only two hits, and none after Garrett Atkins’ one-out single in the third inning. From a legal standpoint, brothers Charlie and Dick Monfort are the owners of the Colorado Rockies. It only seems as though Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny has held a proverbial deed on the franchise. Penny, given another chance to conquer the Rockies, wobbled early and struggled to locate his fastball, but ultimately tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings as the Dodgers won 3-0 in front of 35,852 at Dodger Stadium. Throughout his seven-year major-league career, Penny has made a hobby out of baffling the Rockies. Penny has an 11-2record and a 2.59 ERA in 17career games against Colorado. Thanks to a combination of solid pitching, a heady double-steal and timely defense, the Dodgers took two of threegames from the Rockies and have won six of their past seven overall.