A change of date will be implemented for the 2019 staging of the ultra-rich Diamond Mile race at Caymanas Park.
This was revealed to RJR Sports on Tuesday following the launch at Devon House for this year's race which is set for next month.
When the inaugural Diamond Mile race day was launched in 2015 for a purse of us $115, 000 which made it the richest event in the English-speaking Caribbean, the anticipation was that the race would have attracted horses from Miami and the Caribbean region. However, none of three stagings so far has attracted any overseas entries and next month's fourth staging will be an all-local affair.
This has come as a great disappointment for Colvis Metcalf, Chairman of Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) He says the December date seems to be a major problem for connections from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Metcalf says the new date will give the overseas entries more opportunity to compete in the other races on the local calendar.
“One of the issues we need to look at at this point in time is whether the December date is ideal. From where I sit, I think we need to move it back to October so we’ll have the Diamond Mile in October and the Superstakes in November. This will allow horses of quality to participate in the Caribbean Classic. You might be the first one hearing, we are going to push back the date (for the Diamond Mile) to October. You will find horses coming from the Caribbean and they could probably stay over, enter the Superstakes and then move on to the Caribbean Classic,” said Metcalf.
Meanwhile, there will be a diamond mile scholarship valued at $500,000 for an exercise rider attending the Jamaica Racing Commission's (JRC) Jockey’s School. According to Vitus Evans, Executive Director of the BGLC, only exercise riders from the community of Portmore will be eligible for this scholarship. Veteran sports journalist Karl Angel was presented with the Diamond Mile Award for Excellence .
TVJ, TVJ SN and Hitz 92 FM were also among the awardees for coverage of the Diamond Mile race day since its inception three years ago. The fourth staging of the Diamond mile race day is set for Saturday, December 1 with 12 races expected to be on the programme. 11 of the races will each carry purse money of $1 million.