Whitehall in winners’ circle

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Antonio Whitehall and Rohan Singh collared the two stakes events contested yesterday at Assiniboia Downs, as Caribbean jockeys won all but one of the races on the mid-week card.

Whitehall, the 23-year-old Barbadian reinsman, won the feature CAN $25,000 Debutante Stakes – the fourth race on the card – for two-year-old fillies run over 1,100 metres on the dirt.

Singh, the 52-year-old, Guyana-born jockey, landed the CAN $18,000 second feature Nocalero Overnight Stakes – the first race of the day – contested over 1,700m on the dirt by three-year-old and upward fillies and mares.

Antonio Whitehall

The wins helped Whitehall and Singh cement their place in the top-10 of the jockeys’ colony at the central Canadian track.

Singh also won the second race on the card and now has 37 wins to continue his fierce rivalry with Adolfo Morales for the top spot with just two wins between the pair of them.

Whitehall is in a two-way tie for fifth, on 25 wins, with Trinidad & Tobago jockey Prayven Badrie, also a double winner on the race card.

Whitehall drove the 7-1 chance Vidira to a half-length victory in the Debutante Stakes, holding on to finish in a time of one minute, 07 3/5 seconds.

He brought the filly from the rear of the seven-horse field and duelled for racing room on the inside before shaking off Blondlikestodance, under T&T jockey Stanley Chadee Jr, in the middle of the stretch.

Earlier, Singh, a three-time Assiniboia champion jockey, steered the 8-1 choice Witt’s Town to a three-quarter lengths victory in the Nocalero Overnight Stakes, taking over late to stop the clock at 1 min, 46 4/5 seconds.

Witt’s Town, a three-year-old, bay filly, trailed the four-horse field until the final turn when Singh advanced her off the rail and rallied on the outside to prevail in the contest.

Singh followed up with a three-quarter length victory aboard the 11-5 choice Action Packed in the CAN $8,500-second race, going 1,600m on the dirt.

He put Action Packed in a stalking position on the outside before moving the three-year-old, chestnut gelding up to challenge in the stretch and drew away gradually from the sixteenth pole for a time of 1 min, 44 2/5 seconds.

Badrie collected his first win in the CAN $8,700 third race over 1,600m on the dirt, when he guided the 6-1 chance Rio Grey to a three-quarter lengths victory, after coming with a late challenge and holding well to clock 1 min, 41 4/5 seconds.

Badrie added a 3 1/2-length victory astride the 3-5 favourite Tiz a Cyclone in the CAN $10,000 sixth race, going 1,200m on the dirt, after tracking the leader on the inside, advancing between horses to challenge late in the final turn before drawing away in the stretch for a time of 1 min, 12 2/5 seconds.

Chadee brought the curtain down when he brought back 3-2 favourite Canadian Rose from a 1,500m trip on the dirt in the CAN $8,500 final race in a time of 1 min, 37 seconds flat, after gradually advancing and taking over near the sixteenth pole to finish three lengths clear.

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