Tue | May 24, 2022

SVREL sets March dates for new well, tote board

Published:Friday | January 28, 2022 | 12:07 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Lorna Gooden
Lorna Gooden

General manager of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), Lorna Gooden, says work on a new well at Caymanas Park is scheduled for completion in early March.

Gooden told The Gleaner that the $65-million well was targeted for completion last year but there have been a number of delays in its construction because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our well is on track for completion in mid-March,” said Gooden. “We had some delays because of COVID-19 with the delivery from overseas of some of the components, but we are on target now and we are hoping to complete that by the end of March,” she said.

This new well is expected to bring much-needed relief to the horses and horsemen who depend on the precious commodity during their daily operations at the Gregory Park, St Catherine-based facility.

The SVREL general manager pointed out that construction work on a brand-new digital tote board is also scheduled for completion in March.

“The completion of the tote board is set for March as well. We had a couple of hiccups and delays but we are now back on track,” said Gooden. “We are working tirelessly and assiduously to get all of these projects that we have in train completed by the first quarter of this year,” she said.

A tote board is an easily identifiable numeric or alphanumeric display that is used to provide race-day information, including payouts, results and odds for each horse in a race.

The old tote board was decommissioned last February. It has been at the facility for more than 30 years and had been out of service since August 2019. The construction work on the new board is being done by Kencasa Construction and Project Management Limited.

Veteran trainer and president of the United Racehorse Trainers Association of Jamaica, Ryan Darby, said he welcomes improvements by SVREL because they will help to raise the profile of the facility.

“We are trying our best to work with them, but everything is a little slow. But I am happy that they have now given us a timeline as to when these projects will be completed,” said Darby. “These are excellent projects because it will help to improve racing and its profitability in the long run,” he added.