HEADS of three professional associations at Caymanas Park – the Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association, Jamaica Jockeys Guild and Grooms Association of Jamaica – issued a joint press release on Saturday, distancing their organisations from “putting support behind particular bidders” in the Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) divestment process under way.The associations, however, pointed out that they were “totally against” any proposed sale involving any of Caymanas Park’s 196 acres on which the horse-racing plant operates in Portmore, St Catherine.Presidents Vincent Edwards, AndrÈ Martin and Fabian White of the trainers, jockeys and grooms bodies, respectively, signed the release, which stated: “Amid rumours that various associations at the track are putting support behind particular bidders, we would like to state, categorically, that, at this point in time, the associations noted below are neutral and not formally, or informally, endorsing any of the two bidders nor are we condemning any.”We do, however, wish to state that we are totally against any offer in relation to this divestment that involves thesale of any part of parcel of Caymanas Track Limited land,” the release added.The Gleaner sources claim the issue of CTL lands in the request for proposals has three options, namely an outright sale of the property with a guarantee that a specific acreage be retained for horse racing.The second option, sources claim, is for a long-term lease, including development of the Caymanas Park lands. The third is a similar long-term lease as the second, but with a provision to build a new racetrack within a four-mile radius.The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is in receipt of bids from two entities expressing an interest in acquiring state-run horse-racing promoting company CTL.The bids were received from Caymanas Racing and Entertainment Limited and Supreme Ventures Limited, following the bid opening exercise at DBJ, on Friday, September 18.Caymanas Racing and Entertainment Limited comprises a number of stakeholders at Caymanas Park, including noted horsemen and investors Michael Bernard, Richard Lake and trainer Richard Azan.The DBJ and Caymanas Track Limited Enterprise Team (CTLET) are overseeing the privatisation process on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.It is anticipated that the evaluation will be completed by early this month, after which the preferred bidder will be recommended by CTLET to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and to Cabinet for approval.The CTL privatisation opportunity was advertised by DBJ from May. The bid-submission deadline was extended twice, from July 10 to August 28, and, subsequently, September 18, to accommodate due diligence of the prospective investors.This marks the second time in a little over a decade that the Government has invited bids for the divestment of Caymanas Park. Two bids were approved in 2004. Caymanas Entertainment Limited was named the preferred bidder.However, final approval was subsequently denied by the Government following lengthy deliberations and due diligence.
The three-year-old campaign leading up to the 1000 and 2000 Guineas on April 9 continues at Caymanas Park today with the respective Guineas trials – the Thornbird Stakes for native-bred fillies and the Prince Consort Stakes for colts and geldings, both over 1400 metres.Ten fillies have been declared for the $1.1 million Thornbird Stakes, including top contenders NUCLEAR AFFAIR and SORRENTINO’S STAR, to be ridden by in-form three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson and leading all-time jockey Winston Griffiths, respectively.When both fillies last met in the $4.25 million supreme Ventures Jamaica two-year-old Stakes over a mile last Boxing Day, the Gary Subratie-trained NUCLEAR AFFAIR just failed to stave off the winner, FUTURE KING, while then favourite, SORRENTINO’S STAR finished four lengths fifth at level weights.Today, NUCLEAR AFFAIR is in receipt of 4.0kg from topweight SORRENTINO’S STAR. Following her decisive win over the promising colt ORPHEUS on her January 30 seasonal debut over 1500 metres, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, now running with a mere 53.0kg, looks hard to oppose under these favourable conditions.Trainer Subratie is looking forward to even bigger things from NUCLEAR AFFAIR, with the 1000 Guineas just around the corner.”I have very high hopes for her this season. She has definitely trained on from two to three with that good win over the progressive colt Orpheus over 1500 metres some weeks ago, clocking a good time, and is definitely a class act,” said the second-generation trainer.”She apparently has everything in her favour and should use this as a dress rehearsal for the Guineas,” added Subratie.The chestnut filly by Nuclear Wayne out of Commandra Affair should win easily from SORRENTINO’S STAR and GIRLY GIRLY LINKS.Meanwhile, 12 colts will face-off in the $1.1 million Prince Consort Stakes and, to my mind, it should come down to a straight fight between Nelson’s mount JAMAI RAJA and ORPHEUS, both impressive winners this season.GOD GOINGPreference is for ORPHEUS, who has pleased in all three races this season. After winning over this trip on January 1 and following up with a close second to NUCLEAR AFFAIR, over 1500 metres on January 30, ORPHEUS gained nods of approval after his impressive win over CHACE THE GREAT in the recent Sir Howard Stakes over 1200 metres, the chestnut colt, by Adore The Gold out of La Reina, covering the distance in the good time of 1;13.3.With in-form trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes having him in good nick and the additional furlong right up his street, ORPHEUS, with champion jockey Shane Ellis again in the saddle, looks the right choice.Other firm fancies on the card are MR. TOPPER TOP MAN in the second race for maidens; IAN LINKS to go one better in the fourth; UNCLE G in the sixth; FUTURE KING over stable-companion HOVER CRAFT and COMMANDING CHIEF in the seventh race over 1500m for overnight allowance horses; and JESSE’S FAVORITE in the closing race.
PORTLAND, USA:Omar McLeod’s coach, Douglas Case, was beaming with delight following the athlete’s gold- medal win in the men’s 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Centre yesterday.”I knew the competition was very good, but then I watched him at practice every day and I knew how good he could be, and I hate to say I expected him to win, but I really did. He looked like he could do it in practice, and from everything I saw, he was the guy to beat in reality,” Case told The Gleaner.It was sweet redemption for McLeod after his disappointing sixth-place finish at the outdoor World Championships in Beijing, China, last August.”It’s been a great indoor season. We really tried to have a minimal indoor season. We under- trained and under-raced because it’s a big Olympic year for him and I think he’s got a lot more to come from him this year,” Case added.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz were held to a 1-1 draw by Costa Rica in their key CONCACAF semi-final round FIFA World Cup qualifier inside the National Stadium last night. Goals in either half by Jamaican midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson and Costa Rica’s Johnny Acosta has left things interestingly poised in the group. The Jamaicans grabbed a deserved lead in the 16th minute after midfielder Watson went low to meet a teasing Kemar Lawrence cross at the back post, sending his header in the opposite direction. They could have been 2-0 up just before half time, but Clayton Donaldson could not make contact with a low cross by Joel McAnuff as the hosts looked comfortable in possession, while enjoying the better chances. Earlier, McAnuff missed one of several Jamaican opportunities as he wasted a glorious chance to send the Jamaicans ahead in the 8th minute, after he was found unmarked at the back-post after a flicked header, which came from a long throw by full back Lawrence. HALF-CHANCES The visitors ended the first half with a couple half-chances themselves, but were not able to break the Jamaican backline. They did, however, get the breakthrough in the 67th minute when Johnny Acosta latched on to a rebound to make it 1-1 after Joel Campbell’s shot was well saved by Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake. Both teams traded chances but neither could add to the scoreline, leaving the Jamaicans to deal with another disappointing result in front of their home crowd. The Jamaicans now sit on four points with the Costa Ricans improving to seven points. Haiti and Panama played out a 0-0 draw in the group’s other game. The Jamaicans will travel to Costa Rica where both teams will meet again on Tuesday.
Multimillion-dollar contract Sources have informed The Gleaner that Walcott has been offered a multimillion-dollar contract, which represents a 10 times improvement on his current deal with STETHS. Wellington, who praised Walcott for his work over the years in transforming STETHS into one of the strongest programmes in the country, however, maintains that there is no indication that his prized asset will be changing locations ahead of the coming season. The ISSA vice-president added that he has spoken to the coach, who he says informed him of an interest from Wolmer’s, but gave no indication that he will, in fact, be leaving. “I would have spoken to him; he volunteered to speak with me and I still have no information that he is heading to Wolmer’s, whether from the reports or the conversation I have had with him,” Wellington said. “Nothing I have read or heard says he is going to Wolmer’s. I have read where he is the person being targeted by Wolmer’s, and based on the conversation I have had with him, that is as much as I know as well. “… He (Walcott) is the target of their (Wolmer’s) interest, but I don’t know that he is going there,” Wellington noted. Of note, Walcott is currently a member of the MVP Track Club support staff, providing technical support at training sessions and is a feature at the club’s local exercises, overseas camps and international competition. Walcott, who first arrived at STETHS as a 12-year-old in seventh grade, returned to coach the team after four years of study at the University of Technology. He is in his fourth year at the helm of the programme. He is today considered to be one of the best young minds in track and field coaching and was rewarded for his work with head coach duties for Jamaica’s team to the recent Carifta Games in Grenada, where the team won 86 medals. This year, STETHS finished fifth in the boys’ section at Champs with 100 points and seventh in the female section with 71 points. Last year’s effort saw the Santa Cruz-based team also taking fifth place in the boys’ section (132 points) and ninth in the female section (51 points). In the 2014 instalment, STETHS again finished fifth in the boys’ section with 123 points and eighth in the female side on 65 points. Principal of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Keith Wellington, said he has not been informed that his track and field head coach, Reynaldo Walcott, is heading to Wolmer’s Boys’ School and is confident it will take a massive effort to poach his prized coach. As earlier reported on www.jamaica-gleaner.com, Walcott is strongly tipped to take over the reins at the Heroes Circle-based institution after its entire coaching staff headed by Christopher Harley was shown the door following another disappointing season, which culminated in a ninth place finish and 50-point tally at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships. This follows the school’s back-to-back sixth-place finishes in the boys’ section at the 2015 and 2014 championships. Harley was said to have lost the confidence of several influential members of the Wolmer’s community, such as MVP Track Club coach Stephen Francis, who has been a long-time supporter of the programme. “I am confident that it will take a mountain to move him (Walcott) from St Elizabeth Technical,” Wellington told The Gleaner yesterday. “If he is going to move, those interested will have to plan to move a mountain.”
TOP EIGHT RANKING In 2015, the teenager was ranked by the International Tennis Federation as one of the top eight girls in the Under-13 division for Central America and the Caribbean. She was invited to El Salvador in October to a specialised ITF training camp for one week. The course catered to the top eight boys and girls for Central America and the Caribbean. In January 2016, Harrison represented Jamaica in the Dominican Republic at the Junior Federation Cup, which is an International Under-16 girls’ event. She and her Jamaica teammates placed fifth of the 15 countries, including Guatemala, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Bahamas, Barbados, Curacao, amongst others. In the five singles and three doubles matches that she played, Harrison dropped only one singles match. Later, in March, she again qualified to represent Jamaica in the Under 14 World Junior Tennis Cup, held in El Salvador. Jamaica again placed fifth out of 14 countries, losing 2-1 in the quarter-finals to El Salvador in a very close tie. In singles, Harrison placed fourth overall among 42 girls competing from 14 nations. At the end of March, two days after leaving El Salvador, she went on to play at the United States Tennis Association Super Series in Boca Raton and in the final, she defeated the second seeded American player in straight sets to win the Girls’ Under-14 event. “I enjoy the sport because I get to travel and meet other people. It’s about getting exposure to other culture,” she said. Top-ranked Under-16 national tennis player Jenna Harrison is working hard to be the best female in the game in Jamaica. The 13-year-old Campion College second-form student has class and ability and is fully aware that it requires hard work and commitment to make it in the sport. She trains five days per week on average – two mornings at 5:30 a.m. and three afternoons. “I want to be the best,” Harrison told The Gleaner after winning the Girls’ Under-16 title at the Gas Pro Junior Tennis Championship recently at the Liguanea club in New Kingston. Reflecting on the Gas Pro tournament, Jenna said it was good. “The Gas Pro competition was good. I didn’t play in a tournament for awhile. I played Selena Blythe in final and won. Selena is a strong player,” she said. She has been representing Jamaica from age 11 and is currently ranked at No. 2 in the Under 14 and No. 1 in Under 16 category. Last August in Guatemala, the former Hillel Prep student created history by winning a gold medal at the Junior International Tennis Championship in the Caribbean and Central America. The only Jamaican representative, she advanced to the quarter-finals of the singles event. However, Harrison teamed up with Romari Cardenas to win the girls’ doubles – in a closely contested three-set match – marking the first time a local player was notching the achievement. “My ambition is to become number one in Jamaica, earn a tennis scholarship to an excellent univer-sity, and to be able to become good enough to have an option to pursue a career in tennis or just play college tennis,” she said. “I am going to continue training very hard to have a choice in the future. I am improving with the help of coach Llockett McGregor of the Liguanea Club,” Harrison pointed out. McGregor, a former Jamaica representative and veteran tennis coach, says that the player has the ability to make it to the top. “She is coming along nicely. We are on a programme and she is doing well. Jenna is pushed by short-term goals and works hard when those goals are set.” His prodigy is able to balance tennis and academics due to strong support from parents, Judy and Richard Harrison, as well as coach McGregor and teachers at Campion College. Besides tennis, she enjoys the beach, music and hanging with family and friends. Her favourite tennis player is Novak Djokovic and her favourite food is calamari.
The now-confirmed pronouncement of the current director of football at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Vin Blaine, that it was his expert opinion three years ago that current Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey was an ordinary player in the context of a Jamaican Under-17 squad, is a poignant index of one of what has gone so destructively wrong with Jamaica’s football in recent years. Blaine can no longer deny that he made the asinine pronouncement as the recorded proof of his January 23 comments on the IRIE FM sports talk show What’s The Score was reproduced and played on Hitz 92 FM’s Sports Explosion for all of Jamaica and the world to hear. In this clip, he clearly contradicts himself, saying the words he so forthrightly claimed he did not say, as he concisely referred to Bailey, “he was an ordinary player, as far as I was concerned,” leaving egg all over the face of Blaine. This turn of events once again shows the myopia, incompetence and disdain regarding local talent that has characterised Jamaica’s football leadership and stagnated the development of our young players over the years. By all reports, Bailey had been light years ahead of his peers during his developmental years playing football in Jamaica. He won MVP awards for age group competitions while three years younger than the average age of these groups; he was top scorer and top player in under-13 competitions at 11; he was the stand out player at the under-15 level at 12 and 13. In a Jamaican context, Leon Bailey is an outstanding talent, not an average player. Blaine and the rest of the Jamaican football establishment have been proven to be absolutely and embarrassingly wrong, and deserve every ounce of criticism and heat they have been getting on this issue. Further and more damaging indictment of the JFF’s flawed systems and short-sightedness came when young Bailey was taken into Europe and a year or two later numerous reputable football coaches, including former Holland international, Ronald De Boer, waxed lyrical about the quality of the young Jamaican. De Boer said that Bailey’s speed in combination with his technique is rare, and that the young player had no weak points. Top Belgian team KRC Genk eventually signed Bailey, where he created major waves in this established football powerhouse, before top German club Bayer Leverkusen forked out nearly £13 million to add the teenager to its roster. Blaine and the JFF should hang their heads in shame. Blaine is perhaps unlucky to be attracting all the personal vitriol. After all, he is merely the victim of a flawed system and from an era of thinking that, to my mind, still does not respect the talent of Jamaican players as a whole, and are even less sold on young Jamaican players. The clichÈd rhetoric aside, the recent record is there for all to see. The fulcrum of Jamaica’s senior football programme has been the wholesale pursuit of England-born players who the federation routinely sought, and begged to represent Jamaica. If the Reggae Boyz had made it into the final round of World Cup qualifying, we would not be having this conversation. The exploits of Leon Bailey would quite likely be swept away by the JFF’S self-vindication for what they were doing. It might well have been a blessing in disguise that the World Cup campaign derailed that early, in order to force the current progressive narrative and the actions of the structured development of young Jamaican players. The questions must be asked though: How many young and promising Leon Baileys have Jamaican football officials condemned as being ordinary, or worse, over the years? If Blaine remains a part of the technical leadership of the football, how many more potential Leon Baileys will he destroy and condemn as ordinary players? Embarrassingly wrong
EMERGES WORLD CHAMPION From 1972 to 1988, East Germany was a superpower in sport. In athletics, the blue vested Germans collected 154 medals in the Olympics and the World Championships with 55 gold medals in that number. Unfortunately, those achievements rested on the use of illegal performance enhances. Since the unification of Germany in 1990, evidence has surfaced of state- organised doping. Steroids and other substances were administered to athletes, including the young, to build them up into super humans. Many were unwitting guinea pigs. The absence in those days of out-of-competition drug testing allowed the bandwagon to be done in the off season. Part of the deal was that the East Germans would test their athletes before they came into the international arena as a precaution. It worked as only one East German ever tested positive for a banned substance. These practices have been revealed by former East German athletes and by the declassification of documents from the East German secret service. The current enthusiasm, evicted by the European Athletics Association, is noble. However, injustice will remain if those 154 medals are not reassigned to those who truly earned them. The intended cleanse will be incomplete without such a move. In the two World Championships contested before Reunification, the blue clad Germans ran, jumped and threw their way to 52 medals. Nineteen of them were gold medals. At the first World Championships in 1983, this powerhouse topped the medal table with 10 gold among a total haul of 22. Eliminate the East Germans and one other confessor drug violator, Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey emerges from the 1980s as World champion in the 1983 sprint double and the 100 metres in 1987. As things stand, she endured until the 1993 World Championships to edge American Gwen Terrence for gold in the 200 metres. Re-assignment of those 154 East German medals would give Ottey and so many others their due. They deserve it. Today, 17 years since East Germany last contested an international competition, three of its athletes still hold individual world records. Those are in the men’s discus, the women’s 400 metres and the women’s discus. Perhaps the first move empowered by the new enthusiasm should be to strike those marks off the books. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC):Fourteen wickets tumbled as a contest, which ambled lazily for the first three days, suddenly sprang to life on the fourth, leaving West Indies with the ominous task of surviving today’s final day to deny Pakistan a historic series win in the Caribbean.On a topsy-turvy day of the decisive third Test at Windsor Park, West Indies were bowled out in their first innings for 247, as the outstanding rookie seamer Mohammad Abbas claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests with five for 46.Armed with a lead of 129, Pakistan slumped to 90 for seven in their second innings as West Indies wrested control before the visitors rebounded to declare on 174 for eight.IMPROBABLE 304Set an improbable 304 to win on a turning pitch, West Indies ended on seven for one, still requiring a further 297 runs of their target.They casualty was left-hander Kieran Powell (4), who pushed forward uncertainly to the third last ball of the day from leg-spinner Yasir Shah, for Shan Masood at silly point to come up with a brilliant, low one-handed catch.Earlier, West Indies’ hope of getting close to Pakistan’s first-innings total of 376 were dashed as Abbas ran through the lower order to pick up four of the five wickets to fall for the addition of just 29 runs.Leg-spinner Yasir Shah failed to add to his tally, finishing with three for 126.Roston Chase, who retired hurt on 60 last evening, returned to top-score with 69 while captain Jason Holder finished unbeaten on 30.The hosts were stunned in the first over of the morning when wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich lazily wafted at a wide ball and played on to seamer Mohammad Amir off the fourth delivery without adding to his overnight 20.However, Chase and Holder held up Pakistan briefly in a small 21-run, seventh-wicket stand, offering West Indies precious hope.
Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Bertans, a second-year player included by Indiana in a trade that brought Leonard to San Antonio for George Hill, had a career-high six 3-pointers. He finished 6 for 7 on 3s.Aldridge added 15 points.Nikola Jokic had 23 points and nine rebounds for Denver, which has lost 10 straight in San Antonio.TIP-INSNuggets: G Gary Harris returned after missing the previous game due to what the team said were “private family matters.” Harris had 18 points in 30 minutes. . Denver’s last win in San Antonio was March 4, 2012, when Richard Jefferson played with the Spurs. Now a reserve for Denver, Jefferson had seven points as San Antonio’s starting small forward in the Nuggets’ 99-94 victory. . F Paul Millsap missed his 27th game with a sprained left wrist. . The Nuggets are 10-19 when allowing 100-plus points.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tom Hoge stays steady, takes a 1-shot lead despite false missile alert Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Spurs: Manu Ginobili rocked back for a left-handed dunk in the first quarter. It was his fifth dunk this season, his most since having 10 in 2014. . The Spurs have played only two home games in January, winning both. . Bertans has had three-plus 3-pointers in 16 games, second only to Gary Neal’s 24 for the most by a Spurs player in their first two seasons.UP NEXTNuggets: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.Spurs: Visit Atlanta on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is pressured by Denver Nuggets forward Richard Jefferson, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points in his return from a three-game absence, Davis Bertans had 18 and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in a 112-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.San Antonio won its 14th straight at the AT&T Center, improving the league’s best home record to 19-2.ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The Spurs’ projected starting lineup of Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Danny Green played together for only the sixth game this season and just the second time at home.Leonard played 28 minutes after sitting out the previous three games with a strained left shoulder.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkGreen had 11 points in his return from a 10-game absence due to tightness in his left groin.The Spurs raced to a 23-12 lead in the first quarter despite getting just one point from Leonard. San Antonio opened the game by shooting 6 for 7 on 3-pointers, including three consecutive 3s by Bertans to close that opening run. Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson View comments