Three jockeys sustained injuries and had to be rushed to hospital in two separate races, the sixth and seventh, respectively, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Coming out worst was three-time champion Dane Nelson, whose mount, MONTEGONIAN, stumbled and fell approaching the furlong pole in the sixth race over 1300 metres, decking the popular jockey. In the ensuing melee, STRAIGHTFROMUHEART was brought down, throwing jockey Richard Mitchell as well. The horse also stepped on Nelson, who lay motionless on the ground for a while before he was rushed to the First Aid Post in the track ambulance.Nelson regained consciousness shortly after, but was then fitted with a neck brace by the paramedics and taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for treatment and further observation.Mitchell, on the other hand, escaped injury, but did not ride for the remainder of the day.In the very next race over 1500 metres, won by 7-2 chance DREAMCOMETRUE, both DINNER BY SEVEN and STIR IT UP dislodged their respective riders, Paul ‘Country’ Francis and the veteran Vassell ‘Jollyman’ Najair in the backstretch.Francis is suspected to have fractured his collar bone, while the 62-year-old Najair was badly shaken up and received an injury to his face. Both were taken to the UHWI for observation.SEVERAL SPILLSAlthough there have been several spills on racedays at Caymanas, only one has claimed the life of a jockey in 56 years of racing at the track. This occurred on November 20, 1999, when popular lightweight jockey, Al Gopie, was thrown by his mount, SAGAR, at the half mile and was trampled by horses in the day’s penultimate race.Meanwhile, firm favourites ROYAL ASSAULT and ETERNAL JOY led from start to finish to win the co-feature races on the card.Ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes, the much-improved 4-y-o colt, ROYAL ASSAULT, romped the overnight allowance sprint as the 3-5 favourite. And 30 minutes later, the Neive Graham-trained ETERNAL JOY, a 2-1 favourite, with apprentice Linton Steadman replacing the injured Paul Francis, did likewise in the closing race over 1200 metres for the Colin Melhado Memorial Cup (claiming $250,000-$210,000).
Two music legends — Neil Young and Willie Nelson — will perform a benefit concert on Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh, Nebraska that is on the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and also crosses the historic Ponca Tribe “Trail of Tears.”Proceeds from the “Harvest the Hope” concert will go to Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, to fund the ongoing fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as a number of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal land. The afternoon concert will take place in a field on a farm owned by a family who are part of a strong collective of Nebraska landowners refusing to sell their land to TransCanada for the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.Also performing will be Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln, and the “Stopping the Pipeline Rocks All-Stars,” some of the local Nebraska artists who recorded the benefit album in the solar-powered barn built inside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline last summer.“Harvest the Hope” Concert tickets will go on sale the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 20. Find out more here.
The Senate on Wednesday stripped from the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill language directing the Defense Department to privatize up to five commissaries through a two-year pilot program.Lawmakers also passed a second procedural vote to end debate on the annual policy bill, setting up a final vote for passage which likely will take place Thursday. The 84-14 vote also signaled the Democrats’ decision not to filibuster the authorization bill over its reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations account to exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps. Instead, Senate Democrats will resume that fight over the defense spending bill. The party is expected to block a vote, which could come today, to debate the spending measure in the Senate.Before voting to invoke cloture on the underlying bill, the Senate approved language requiring DOD to assess the costs and benefits of privatizing military grocery stores prior to launching a pilot program to evaluate privatization. The amendment was offered by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), but it was modified to include the text of a related amendment from Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), reported CQ.“This amendment puts all efforts to prioritize commissaries on hold, requiring instead an assessment on privatizing before we make significant changes to our service member’s commissary benefits,” Inhofe said in a joint press release. “There are too many unknowns as to whether privatization could directly impact military members’ ability to provide for their families as well as the potential for it to affect retention,” he stated.The House bill does not include language requiring DOD to test privatization.On Tuesday, the Senate rejected an amendment from David Vitter (R-La.) that would have established a floor of 32 Army brigade combat teams (BCTs) in the active and reserve Army components. That is the number of BCTs the Army will have at the end of the current fiscal year when it reaches an end strength of 490,000. Officials shortly are expected to announce further cuts that would shrink the Army by up to 70,000 additional troops and 10 to 12 BCTs. Dan Cohen AUTHOR