After four decades and 1,926 Caymanas Park victories, trainer Wayne DaCosta became the record champion trainer at Caymanas Park after topping the field for the 15th time with 67 wins in 2015. DaCosta also surpassed legendary trainer and former record holder Phillip Feanny, who has 14 titles. His achievement, surpassing one of the all-time greats of regional training, has given DaCosta great satisfaction, but to him, winning the title in 2015 was no great surprise. “I was confident (coming into the year). I had a full stable of horses, so I didn’t see why the results would have been any different from last year (2014),” he told The Gleaner. “He (Feanny) is still one of the great trainers of Caymanas Park, so it’s definitely a honour to surpass his record. It (15th championship) was indeed satisfying, it’s a great feeling to be number one. I don’t know how long it will last, but I am on the top now, and it is really a good feeling getting the 15th win,” he stated. DaCosta, who is second on the all-time list of winners saddled at the Park, says his love and passion for racing is the secret to his success and he has no plans to take a break anytime soon. “I can continue [training horses] until I die. I am doing something that I like, and from 1976 when I got my licence, I have always liked it. I see no reason why I should stop. “However, you never can tell (how long it will continue) because the sport can change in the turn of a dime. But now everything looks good and I have some good horses in the top class and some nice three-year-olds coming next year, so it could be the same old, same old you never can tell. “I want to thank all of my owners who have stayed with me over the years and my groom, Linval McFarlane, who has been with me for more than 30 years as an assistant trainer. racing has good times and bad times, and you will never know when your bad time is going to come. But I have some nice horses. I hope they keep sound and make it a memorable year again,” he stated. DaCosta trained the top three horses in stakes last year – Derby and Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM ($13.58 million), ALI BABA ($5.37m), PERFECT NEIGHBOUR ($5.08m). He was also the leading trainer for two-year-olds, earning $9.06m. Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-year-old Stakes winner FUTURE KING was the leading earner in this category with $3.66m.
PACIFIC PALISADES – The PGA Tour often is a one-man show, but without Tiger Woods, the Nissan Open became a two-man show with many in contention. Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington had an opportunity to distance themselves and run away from the field on Saturday at Riviera Country Club, but that didn’t happen. Ten players are within five shots of one another, meaning the Nissan Open could come down to the 72nd hole, as it usually does. Mickelson and Harrington know things could’ve been much different. Today’s round could’ve resembled a match play competition. But if either wins, it will be a moot point. “It would’ve been nice to get a few birdies and take a few guys out, but we let the field back in,” Harrington said. It didn’t look like it would be that way at the start, since Mickelson picked up where he left off. Mickelson birdied the first two holes and moved to a two-shot lead over Harrington. Mickelson made a 2-footer for birdie on the first hole. On the second hole, he hit a superb approach shot that curled around trees and landed within 4 feet. He made the putt, but didn’t birdie again until the 10th hole. Mickelson had several errant drives and iron shots and that led to consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11, 12 and 13. “I was tied for the lead yesterday,” Mickelson said. “I’ve got a one-shot lead today. So, it’s getting better. It wasn’t the day I wanted, but it’s getting better.” Mickelson and Harrington each shot his highest score of the tournament – 69 and 70, respectively – but Mickelson has a one-shot lead over Harrington at 13-under. Rich Beem, who aced the 14th hole and won a Nissan sports car, is two shots back at 11-under. “This definitely shines a ray of hope on a lot of guys’ eyes, as well as (Mickelson) was playing,” said Jim Furyk, who’s tied for sixth, four shots back. He dealt with a couple of trigger-happy photographers early in the round who twice made him step away from a shot. After he backed off his putt on No. 5, he said: “Stop it, please!” Mickelson’s most glaring error was on the par-3 16th hole, where he shot way right of the green. A computer program that shows where players hit the ball showed that his tee shot wasn’t even in the picture. He hit his tee shot right and over the green, then hit a wedge over the hole on the other side, about 40 feet by the cup. He made a 2-foot bogey putt. Harrington scrambled, too. He was in the gully on No. 8 but hit a tremendous shot to within 7 feet. He tapped in for par. This is the first time Harrington has played the tournament and first for Mickelson in five years. Harrington played Riviera once in December and he’s made his share of mistakes, which Mickelson reminded him of after the sixth hole, where he hit left. “I chipped it well by the hole and missed the putt,” Harrington said. “Seemingly, I could have chipped it up the side of the green, and it would have come back down. I didn’t happen to notice that. My playing partner told me that as I was going up the next hole.” Mickelson, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week, is the man to beat. Each of the last two years, he’s won at least two consecutive tournaments. But Mickelson and Harrington are anything but guarantees to win the tournament. “There were a lot of low scores,” Mickelson said. “If Padraig and I had both shot low scores, we probably could’ve pulled away a little bit. Instead, it will be a shootout with a lot of guys.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!