Met­calfe: Di­a­mond Mile day will be big­ger and bet­ter

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - – O.C.

THE SEC­OND run­ning of the rich Di­a­mond Mile on Saturday, De­cem­ber 10, prom­ises to be big­ger and bet­ter than be­fore.

This was the view of Clovis Met­calfe, chair­man of the Bet­ting, Gam­ing and Lotteries Com­mis­sion (BGLC), at the me­dia launch at the ATL Au­to­mo­tive Lim­ited Show­room, Ox­ford Road, New Kingston, on Tues­day night.

“For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, the BGLC of­fers the rich­est purse in the English-speak­ing Caribbean at the his­toric Cay­manas Park,” said Met­calfe.

“Horserac­ing en­thu­si­asts and guests can ex­pect an­other thrilling line-up of thor­ough­breds, which will be an­nounced in the com­ing weeks. This year’s race card will fea­ture a sim­i­lar num­ber of races as last year, in­clud­ing three spe­cial trophy races — the Di­a­mond Mile, the BGLC Stakes and the Supreme Ven­tures Sprint.

“The purse pack­age will also be sim­i­lar to what was of­fered in 2015, which was an over­all purse of just un­der $30 mil­lion, of which $20 mil­lion was pro­vided by the BGLC.

‘With a sim­i­lar purse dis­tri­bu­tion this sea­son, win­nings for the Di­a­mond Mile race will be in the re­gion of US$115,000 and the ba­sic purse of all other races will be JM$1

MET­CALFE

mil­lion or more, based on the go­ing ex­change rate.

“Last year, we were very de­lib­er­ate about en­sur­ing that we of­fer a very at­trac­tive purse struc­ture, but we never imag­ined that the pay­off would have been so sig­nif­i­cant. From a record-break­ing 225 en­tries, of which 190 par­tic­i­pated, to a whop­ping $66.5 mil­lion in sales for lo­cal races, and an­other $9.1 mil­lion for simul­cast races on that day alone,” Met­calfe added.

He said with the above re­sults, the BGLC is even more com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the resur­gence of horserac­ing in Ja­maica.

Spe­cial guest at the launch was Fi­nance Min­is­ter Aud­ley Shaw, who said the Di­a­mond Mile should take on added sig­nif­i­cance this year with di­vest­ment about to be­come a re­al­ity.

“We are at the point of clos­ing the deal with Supreme Ven­tures ... . This will en­sure an ex­panded prod­uct, the de­vel­op­ment of fa­cil­i­ties and more jobs cre­ated,” he as­serted.

Also speak­ing were CTL’s rac­ing sec­re­tary Den­zil Miller Jr, Matthew Cripps, group gen­eral man­ager, ATL Au­to­mo­tive Lim­ited, and the chair­man of Supreme Ven­tures Lim­ited, Paul Hoo.

Hoo dis­closed that since 2004, his com­pany has pumped $120 mil­lion into rac­ing spon­sor­ship at Cay­manas Park, in­clud­ing $5 mil­lion to the purse of this year’s Di­a­mond Mile.

Top con­tenders are last year’s win­ner SEEK­ING MY DREAM and BUZZ NIGHT­MARE.

CLOS­ING THE DEAL

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