Caribbean Series Set for Puerto Rico's El Comandante
Date Posted: 11/24/03 10:04:43 AM
Last Updated: 11/24/03 10:04:43 AM

By Jaime Toro, Puerto Rico

Four international horseracing events, including the $300,000 Clásico Internacional del Caribe will take place at El Comandante Racetrack in Puerto Rico on Dec. 6-7.

The traditional Clásico Internacional del Caribe celebrates its 36th anniversary this year with nearly 14 horses from Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico expected to battle in the prestigious event. The race generally called "Caribbean Derby" is for 3-year-olds of the participant countries.

Some of the principal candidates includes sensational Cafajeste from Panamá, Venezuela's fast filly Gran Esmeralda, Boby Seraf, also from Venezuela, hometown hope Despreciado, Runaway Groom's son Imbuia's Son, Colombian Chan Chu Yo and the Dominican Republic's Pintoresco.

The other three races in the series are the $75,000 Copa Velocidad del Caribe ("Caribbean Sprint"), the $75,000 Copa Dama del Caribe ("Caribbean Distaff") and the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad del Caribe (for 3 year olds and up).

The Confraternidad features Venezuela's multiple stakes winner, 6-year-old My Own Business, who tries to equal Exterminator's world record for most stakes races won with 34.

All Star Puerto Rican jockey John Velazquez, will participate in the four races. He will ride Gran Esmeralda in the Clásico del Caribe, Gran Abuelo in the Copa Confraternidad, Don Dandy in the Copa Velocidad and Voluntariosa in the Copa Dama del Caribe.

The first Caribbean International Jockey Challenge, which reunites the best jockeys of the area, will held Dec. 5. Among the participating jockeys: Cornelio Velázquez and René Douglas from Panamá; Angel Alcilro Castillo and Emisael Jaramillo from Venezuela; Joel Rosario from the Dominican Republic; Luis Perlaza from Colombia; and Juan Carlos Díaz, Javier Santiago and José Carlos Ferrer from Puerto Rico. The only female rider, Rosemary Homeister Jr. from the United States, also competes.

Jockeys will put their abilities in motion in 4 races with random rides.