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
Pridera, 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
El Comandante officials labeled the long
weekend of international racing a success, with handle in excess
of $1-million for the three days. With the Puerto Rican horse
industry facing financial problems, there was a possibility of
canceling the Clasico del Caribe, according to El Comandante
spokesman Jorge Colon Delgado. 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.