Reigning Horse of the Year Balooga Bull delivered when it counted on Victoria Day at ASD to keep his perfect record intact, and in the process helped jockey Paul Nolan score a hat trick. Secondarily impressive on the card was 5-time Jamaican jockey champion Trevor Simpson, who scored his first win of what should be many at the 2012 race meeting.[youtube]http://youtu.be/8lK2KlLhDek[/youtube]
Heavily favored by the big holiday crowd, Balooga Bull went to the lead early in the third race but he could never shake the winter-raced Pleasant Closing, who doggedly pressured the champ from the outside through quick fractions of 22.40 and 45.80 before turning up the heat in the stretch.
Pleasant Closing got within a head of Balooga Bull in mid stretch but could gain no further as the “Bull” somewhat measured his rival through the final sixteenth. It was by no means an easy win, but you got the impression that Pleasant Closing wouldn’t have gotten by even if the pair had gone around again. Balooga Bull stopped the timer in a stellar 58 seconds for the five furlongs in front of a raucous crowd that were ecstatic to have the favorite hold on.
Conditioned by Ardell Sayler for owner Paul Brandt, Balooga Bull is a 3-year-old gelding by Flashy Bull-Proud Crusader by Crusader Sword. The win helped him improve his record to a perfect 5-for-5 and he will now be pointed towards the $30,000 Golden Boy Stakes on June 8 as begins his serious preparation for the $75,000 Manitoba Derby on August 6.
Paul Nolan scored a hat trick, winning with Balooga Bull ($2.30), La Chiquilina ($8.70) in the fourth and Bull Market Lady ($4.60) in the seventh to open up a 13-8 lead over Robert Reeves Jr. who won the second race of the day on Saucy Stash ($4.70) for trainer Gary Danelson. Rohan Singh, Tyrone Nelson, Tim Moccasin and Trevor Simpson also scored singles on the day.
Simpson was impressive not only winning the fifth race aboard longshot Shamus on Me ($20.40) for trainer Jerry Gourneau, but also when finishing third beaten a head and half in the second race aboard Uno Exciting Trick at 6-1. If his first few mounts here are any indication, you’ll want to keep a close eye on this guy, especially on longshots with a chance.
Just six weeks ago the former Jamaican champ was winning the prestigious One Thousand Guineas in that country aboard a 99-1 shot. He’s ridden in North America before at Finger Lakes, and he’s now won over 1400 races. He also holds the record for wins in a single season in Jamaica with 172. Simply put…
He can ride.
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