Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Yellowstone slams rivals again

Published:Monday | January 30, 2023 | 12:33 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

YELLOWSTONE completed a hat-trick of wins and a three-timer for Anthony Thomas, repelling NUCLEAR NOON for his fifth victory at five and a half furlongs in yesterday’s George HoSang Trophy feature race.

Vastly improved since fitted with a visor for back-to-back wins, YELLOWSTONE stalked the early pace set by EMPEROROFTHECATS and SUPER DUPER before attacking the speedsters three-wide off the home turn.

EMPEROROFTHECATS shook loose of SUPER DUPER but waved the white flag when YELLOWSTONE pounced a furlong and a half out and quickened to grab the lead while NUCLEAR NOON made his bid, quickly improving into third early in the stretch run.

Leading rider Tevin Foster, who was aboard YELLOWSTONE for his October 30 and January 15 wins, but used his Anthony Nunes loyalty card to partner NUCLEAR NOON, was on the receiving end this time around, three lengths’ worth, as the in-form four-year-old sprinted clear inside the last half-furlong, clocking 1:07.2.

Thomas, dethroned by Dane Dawkins last season, enjoyed his best day in the saddle since parting ways with champion trainer Jason DaCosta at the back end of last season.

The three-time champion rider opened his tally with an armchair ride aboard Philip Feanny’s United States-bred DIVINE FORCE, who won the second event at seven furlongs by 13 lengths as a 1-2 favourite.

Thomas also made all astride XCEPTIONAL BABZ, who followed up her easy maiden victory with a convincing victory against non-winners-of-two at six furlongs in the eighth, winning at odds of 3-1.

The Reggae 6 Mandatory payout returned a little over $30,000 to winning tickets. Hundreds of punters holding breaths in unison let out a collective sigh of relief after 45-1 shocker MUNZA had his number taken down and placed sixth for double interference on his way to passing the post first in the third event.

However, the Twilight 6 paid out approximately $900,000 to four winning tickets, a payout driven by FREEDOM STREET’s 14-1 upset win at seven and a half furlongs. FREEDOM STREET turned back THE CITADEL down the backstretch and survived a side-on from challenger SHADOWFAX in the stretch run.