Homeister Makes History in Puerto Rico; Wins Clasico del Caribe
Updated: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 10:41 AM
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2001 1:57 PM
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Alexia, winning El Comandante's Clasico del Caribe.
Calder-based jockey Rosemary Homeister not only became the first female rider in Puerto Rico's Clasico de Caribe, but she also became the first of her sex to win the race when it was renewed for the 34th time Sunday at El Comandante Racetrack.
Alexia, 3-year-old filly from Panama ridden by Homeister, finished a neck in front of local horse Yagrumo. Mi Pradera, also from Puerto Rico, was third, followed by Estrellero, the Puerto Rican Triple Crown winner who dueled for the early lead before finishing fourth.
A daughter of El Rey David, Alexia ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.56 as she joined three other fillies as winners of the race dubbed the "Caribbean Derby."
Trained by Erick H. Gittens for owner Stud Campo Azul, the winning gray filly has now won eight of 13 career starts.
El Comandante officials labeled the long weekend of international racing a success, with handle in excess of $1-million for each of the three days. With the Puerto Rican horse industry facing financial problems, there was a possibility of canceling the Clasico del Caribe. But it was salvaged as a result of help from the government and "a number of horse enthusiasts," according to a statement from the track.
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