LEAVE ME ALONE was arguably the most impressive winner on the first day of horse racing action for the year last week Saturday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Despite the fact that she had not competed in almost nine and a half months and was knocked out of stride when she was about to pick up the running just before the homestretch, the five-year-old still managed to win the final event of the seven-race card.
Leave Me Alone lost a few lengths and dropped back to third place after being “checked” but came back very strong in the homestretch to just catch Marconi in the last few strides and win the 1,200-metre modified benchmark handicap for 45-30 rated horses by half-length.
It was the fourth victory from nine career starts for the full sister of Patta Patta, who placed third in the Trinidad Derby Stakes in her last outing a month earlier.
Leave Me Alone, whose previous victories were achieved in pole-to-pole fashion, was the second winner of the day for her new owner Dillion Nanan and trainer Michael Lutchman,
They also struck in the fourth race with another 5/2 second fancy, Atta Girl Silvy, who caught 2/1 favourite Unsettled Heart in mid-way stretch and went on to win the 1,500-metre modified benchmark handicap for 25 & lower rated horses by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Nanan was not the only owner to score twice, as Pegasus Racing was successful with Great Heart in the opener and with With Honours in the fifth.
Lutchman, a six-time winner last year, led the trainers, while riding honours went to 2016 champion jockey Ronald Ali, who was astride both Atta Girl Silvy and Leave Me Alone, a horse he has ridden in all nine of her career starts.
Golden D’Dor, who placed third in the Guineas, fourth in the Midsummer Classic and fifth in the Derby in 2020, could only finish fourth as the 6/5 favourite in the day’s second event – the modified benchmark handicap for 70-55 rated horses.
Star Of Wonder just caught 2/1 second fancy Fast’N’Furious to take the 1,750-metre contest by a neck in the hands of apprentice Ridge Balgobin at odds of 3/1 for owner/trainer Keith Lucas.
Like Leave Me Alone, this seven-year-old was bred by her former owner and trainer Rolf Bartolo, who passed away just over a year-and-a-half ago.
Racing continues next week Saturday with the second round of the ARC’s 2022 Season.