CONQUEST TSUNAMI, EDDIE HASKELL, HUNT & SECRETARY AT WAR HEAD FIELD OF NINE IN SUNDAY’S $70,000 CLOCKERS’ CORNER STAKES AT 6 ½ FURLONGS OVER DOWNHILL TURF COURSEFIRST POST TIME FOR A 10-RACE CARD ON SUNDAY IS AT 12 NOON ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2019)–Owner Gary Barber’s Conquest Tsunami heads a solid field of nine older horses in Sunday’s $70,000 Clockers’ Corner Stakes, to be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.A two-time winner over the unique downhill layout, Conquest Tsumami’s primary threat could be the Mark Glatt-conditioned Eddie Haskell, who although winless in six tries down the hill, comes off a pair of impressive allowance wins at five furlongs over the Del Mar turf. Throw in turf specialists Hunt and Secretary At War, and the Clockers’ Corner shapes up a deep and competitive betting race.CONQUEST TSUNAMIOwner: Gary BarberTrainer: Peter MillerA hillside winner of the Grade III Daytona Stakes seven starts back on Feb. 18 of last year,this 7-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding comes off a big third place finish, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, in the Grade III Joe Hernandez Stakes down the hill on Jan. 1. A bare-knuckled front running sprinter, he showed the way in the Hernandez prior to being collared by a pair of top horses–Caribou Club and Stormy Liberal. With a 4-2-1-1 mark over the course, Conquest Tsunami is 28-8-4-4 overall with earnings of $715,411.EDDIE HASKELLOwner: Philip J. Wood & Jim HaileyTrainer: Mark GlattA 6-year-old gelding by Square Eddie, he’s the lone California-bred in the lineup. Idle since taking a 5 furlong classified turf allowance on Dec. 1 at Del Mar, “Eddie” bids for his third win in a row and his fourth in his last five starts. Claimed six starts back for $50,000 in April of last year, he’s got three third place finishes from his six hillside starts.HUNTOwner: Michael HouseTrainer: Phil D’AmatoThe leading money earner in the field with $909,454, this 7-year-old Irish-bred gelding has been idle since running sixth in the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap on Aug. 19. A winner of five out of 11 hillside starts, he’s also the only Grade I winner in the field, having taken the Grade I Shoemaker Mile (turf) here three starts back on May 28. Reunited with leading rider Flavien Prat, who has guided Hunt to eight wins from 16 tries, Hunt exudes class and looms dangerous as a fresh commodity.SECRETARY AT WARSlam Dunk RacingTrainer: Richard BaltasSecond, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap Nov. 24 at odds of 72-1, this 5-year-old full horse by War Front seemed to blossom in four starts last year for Baltas. Originally based on the East Coast with Jimmy Jerkens, Secretary At War stalked the pace en route to half length one mile turf allowance in his first start for Baltas Aug. 18 and matched his 94 Beyer Speed figure in running second last time out. With an overall mark of 18-3-3-3, he’ll be trying the hillside for the first time and be ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano.THE $70,000 CLOCKERS’ CORNER STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 8 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PTRegal Born–Mario Gutierrez–120Cistron–Aaron Gryder–120Eddie Haskell–Tyler Baze–120Secretary At War–Rafael Bejarano–120Hunt–Flavien Prat–124Pubilius Syrus– Geovanni Franco – 124Conquest Tsunami–Drayden Van Dyke–124Blended Citizen–Joel Rosario–124Calculator–Brice Blanc–124 First post time for a 10-race card on Sunday is at 12 noon. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
The future of the sugar industry and GuySuCo was a crucial, monumental issue in the 2015 Regional and General Elections, but it is now on the back burner.Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan delivering his speech in 2015Consistently in 2013 and 2014, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) denied they had any plan to close the sugar estates.On their campaign trail in 2015, the incumbent Government promised that no sugar estate would be closed and that sugar workers would enjoy a 20 per cent annual increase and better benefits under an APNU/AFC Government.In addition, they promised that under their tenure, sugar would see even more glorious years ahead.During a rally in 2015, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan told those gathered that “As part of taking care of the people, we have to ensure that certain industries that are the foundation of this economy, Guyanese economy, are looked after and in Berbice here they are two major ones, the sugar industry, and the rice industry and I want to tell you that the propaganda that you are hearing the APNU/AFC coalition is going to ground both industries to the dirt is all lies! We are not going to in any way close the sugar industry”.The Wales Sugar Estate, West Bank Demerara (WBD), which was the first to be closed by the APNU/AFC coalition Government, putting thousands of workers and their families on the breadlineWhile APNU/AFC wildly uses financial feasibility as the excuse to close sugar, former President Bharrat Jagdeo and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic contended that there are compelling socio-economic reasons for keeping sugar.He pointed out that sugar is the largest single employer in Guyana, after the public service. Sugar provides the bulk of the drainage and irrigation in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.Sugar plays a critical role in the viability of the National Insurance Scheme and contributes considerably to the Government’s income tax receipt, which is a significant foreign currency earner.Sugar also creates a whole village economy that falls like dominoes when sugar is not working. See what has taken place in Wales, Patentia, West Bank Demerara, Canje, Enmore and La Bonne Intention (LBI).The vendors in the community markets in these areas, taxi drivers, grocery shop owners, tailors and seamstresses, jewellers and barbers and hairdressers have seen their livelihoods gone up in smokes.The closure of the four sugar estates at Rose Hall-Canje, Skeldon (both in Berbice), East Demerara (Enmore to Ogle) and Wales (West Bank Demerara) tossed close to 7500 workers into a financial crisis.In addition, that same rally in 2015, Ramjattan signalled his intention of the sugar and rice industry by noting that: “We intend, my brothers and sisters, to make that industry [sugar] profitable again, we have to make it profitable because it is that creates so much employment not directly but also indirectly for so many people across this country,” Ramjattan cited.Nevertheless, despite all the sugarcoated talks and speeches on keeping the sugar industry alive, Ramjattan has another story to tell.“We want to wane the next generation away from cane cutting, a place where PPP wants to put them back.” Those were the words of Ramjattan at the APNU/AFC campaign launch on Friday at D’Urban Park.2019’s, 92,246 tonnes of sugar were sold in the local, regional and international markets compared to 110,273 under the PPP Administration.In May of 2019, the coalition Government was preparing to sell off huge swathes of land owned by the GuySuCo as part of moves to sell off the several loss-making estates.This was being executed even as the Administration prepared to revive interest in the ‘for sale’ assets by local and foreign investors.The downsizing of the sugar industry has been fiercely resisted by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the parliamentary Opposition and a number of other agencies.The operations of the La Bonne Intention Estate were amalgamated with those of the Enmore Estate; those at Wales were amalgamated with Uitvlugt and there are plans to privatise Skeldon. But the closure of the estates and the sacking of workers are having an effect on the economy.