JOCKEY QUOTESVICTOR ESPINOZA, CARRESSA, WINNER: “We didn’t know if she’d handle the turf, so I had two plans. If she broke sharp, I’d go to the lead, but she kind of missed the break, so we sat behind. I wanted to keep her covered up going into the first turn because she was pulling pretty hard. When we turned up the backstretch, I moved her out and dropped my hands and she relaxed. At that point I knew she was handling the turf and I really wasn’t worried about anyone else.” “We took a shot at the turf. There was really no other place for her to race in, instead of just training her we might as well run her and John (Shirreffs) did the right thing.“Now she can run in the dirt or the turf so they have many races to run, she’s been impressive and she is on her game. When a horse is getting good and starts winning it’s hard to get beat, they don’t come very often like Carressa that can run on both surfaces.”TRAINER QUOTESJOHN SHIRREFFS, TRAINER OF CARRESSA, WINNER: “I’m really thrilled with her, the way she’s progressed and the way she ran today. I thought the most important thing was when Victor was able to control her there going into the first turn. After that, she settled and really ran well.”MICHAEL BELLO, MEGAHERTZ, OWNER, WINNER: “To be here it brings back a lot of great memories, (Megahertz) brought so much joy to our family and to watch her race it was just unbelievable, I mean there’s just no other feeling like this.“She was tough and mean in the morning and she didn’t really want to work out. Alex (Solis) had to sit on her and wait until she was ready to do her job. She had the biggest heart and the biggest kick I have ever seen.“I’m buying some yearlings right now and I’m with Bob Baffert so we will see what happens. I want to get back in the game.”NOTES: The winning owners are Mercedes Stables LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, Scott Dilworth, Dorothy & David Ingordo and Steve Mooney.
Government is still vigorously pursuing its option to buy out the 10 per cent of shares held by the DemeraraThe Berbice River BridgeDistillers Limited (DDL) in the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) in order to ensure sustainability and perhaps to facilitate a further reduction in the tolls.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson said Government remained committed to providing significant financial relief for those persons traversing the Berbice Bridge and, in order to guarantee low fares, Government would have to gain majority control of the Company.He said Government was exploring different options, apart from State subsidies, to ensure the fares remained reduced.“The Government had attempted certain things so far. We are currently trying to buy the shares from DDL and obviously with that, we can look at different mechanisms,” he stated during a recent news conference.Last year, Government announced that the beverage giant had offered to sell off its shares in the BBCI for some $45 million. Government had also hoped to engage with the other stakeholders about selling their shares in order to influence the decision to reduce the bridge tolls since the Bridge Company was initially refusing to lower them.But after intense negotiations, Government finally brokered an agreement with the Company to reduce the tolls, which took effect this year.The toll on passenger cars and minibuses was reduced from $2200 to $1900, while there was a 10 per cent reduction for the other classes of vehicles.Government is also providing subsidies to the river taxis, which were introduced after the BBCI maintained that it was not reducing its tolls.The river taxis were meant to be a more affordable alternative to the Bridge, but with the reduction of the bridge tolls, the two facilities began competing with each other.Minibus operators began complaining of loss of business since commuters opted to use the river taxis rather than cross the River via the bridge.The Public Infrastructure Ministry developed a revised schedule for the operations of the river taxis to facilitate the minibus operations.From September 1, the speedboat service began operating from 06:00h until 09:00h and then again from 14:30h until 18:00h. Previously, the service operated between 06:00h and 18:00h.But with the time change, the taxi drivers are complaining that the new operating hours would severely affect their trade since they would limit the number of passengers who utilise their services after disembarking the boats.Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson had pledged to meet with the operators to iron out the issue.