Many owners, trainers, and racing enthusiasts have come out and expressed their displeasure towards the decision of the Arima Race Club (ARC) for removing the Midsummer Classic from the Classic Diary.
Members of the racing fraternity are coming out and asking the ARC to state clearly why the decision was made to remove the race, which the Club placed on the turf course for the first time to be creative earlier this year.
This has been the mode at Santa Rosa Park since owners and trainers have been informed that there will be no 'Triple Crown', this year. The ARC has now informed owners and trainers by virtue of a meeting held last week of the Framing Committee.
On August 26, ARC president Robert Bernard stated that "should the pandemic not let up and we are unable to get clearance until October then the Triple Crown races will be contested beginning in October/November with the prestigious final leg, the Trinidad Derby being run off on December 26 Boxing Day".
Stakeholders are unhappy with the decision to cancel any of the 'Triple Crown' events and are particularly perturbed that they were not consulted or given an opportunity to share their thoughts on the matter.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Tuesday, former Racing Secretary Somdath Maharaj when asked about the current state of events he stated: "As we know transparency is always needed in horse racing as the sport is presently on life support. With the pandemic, it costs owners a lot of money to upkeep the animals and at this time they should be the ones with the loudest voices. But with the current situation with the Arima Race Club's president Robert Bernard and the RTA president Glem Mohammed clearly goes to show that the ARC just wants what's best for themselves and not the industry. If a decision is made to scrap a Classic race, all stakeholders should have an input, especially the owners who invest a lot in the sport.
"Mr Robert Bernard being the president of the ARC shouldn't have any issue with information being shared with stakeholders as himself and Mr John O'Brien (top trainer) who is also part of the management committee, is on the Race Framing Committee. When issues like these arise the regulatory body who is the T&T Racing Authority (TTRA) should get involved but as you are aware Mr Bernard is also a member of the TTRA and that's why all those boards need to be changed because of the incestuous relationship that compromises all matters. As you are aware it's the taxpayers' dollars funding a private members club and transparency should be the priority of the government when appointing these boards", stated Maharaj.
He further stated: "As the former racing secretary, everything discussed at the Race Framing Committee was discussed with all stakeholders present. When discussing matters like the Classics Diary minutes were taken to avoid any misunderstanding. It's quite clear that the club is trying to secure someone's interest."