Highly fancied RUNALLDAY and 10-1 outsider DON CHASSIS won the Front Runner-sponsored Hot Line and Sir Howard Stakes for native-bred three-year-old fillies and colts, respectively, over 1200 metres, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Both races, which offered purses of $1.1 million, marked phase two of the Front Runner Racing Series, which was introduced last year for native bred two-year-olds. This year, Front Runner and Newport Mills Limited extended the sponsorship to three-year-olds preparing for the classics in four races – Hot Line Stakes, Sir Howard Stakes as well as the Thornbird (Guineas trial) for fillies, and Prince Consort Stakes for colts and geldings, both scheduled for March 18 over 1400 metres.In the 23rd running of the Hot Line Stakes, contested by nine fillies, RUNALLDAY, who raced prominently in third as the marginal 4-5 favourite FORT JKOX disputed the lead with DON’T BLUSH BABE, stormed through on the rails past FORT KNOX, leaving the furlong pole to win by four lengths in a new stakes record time of 1:12.3. LADY FAYE (12-1) stayed on well to pip FORT KNOX for second behind fast splits of 22.1 and 45.2 for the half mile.LIGHTLY RACEDA lightly raced bay filly by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Racee, RUNALLDAY, who won as the 4-5 second favourite, was ridden by top apprentice Linton Steadman for trainer Anthony Nunes and reigning champion owner Stephan Narinesingh. She was bred by HAM Stables Limited.Later in the afternoon, the Philip Feanny-trained DON CHASSIS ran on well from just off the early pace to catch and beat long-time leader and 1-2 favourite LOOSE CANNON under champion jockey Omar Walker by 2 1/2 lengths.DON CHASSIS, who had previously won the Mercury Sprint over the straight on January 28, was one-two winners for two-time champion jockey Shane Ellis and 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. A lightly raced chestnut colt by Performing Magic out of Femme Doree (bred by Everglades Farms), DON CHASSIS covered the distance in the same time as RUNALLDAY (1:12.3).Superkids Racing Stables, who owns DON CHASSIS, highlighted the 11-race programme with three winners. The others were 6-5 favourite LORD EQUUS, with Ellis aboard, and stable-companion PINELOPE, who made all at odds of 7-2 to win the King’s Plate open allowance race over 1500 metres in decisive fashion with the apprentice Javaneil Patterson aboard. Both LORD EQUUS and PINELOPE are conditioned by trainer Patrick Fong.Nunes and stable rider Steadman completed a double as well with the 33-1 outsider KANALOA in the closing race over the round five course. Racing continues on Wednesday, the holiday card featuring the Ash Wednesday Trophy.
We fail to understand why some people of Nimba County always force us to ask, “what is wrong with Nimba?” Why are they always putting themselves and their county negatively in the news? This is a question not for the politicians, who are usually at the center of the problem, but for the religious, educational and social people and institutions to wrestle with.Scarcely a year ago, Liberia’s Mano River Union partners, notably La Cote d’Ivoire, were installing light poles and electric wires in Nimba. This was an initiative of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), to supply electricity to several interior counties, including Nimba County!But no sooner had technicians of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) begun installing the poles and wires, that people in the county started stealing the light poles, bulbs and wires!A few months ago Nimba youths staged a riot on the premises of ArcelorMittal, causing millions of dollars in damages. Their mothers and aunts begged President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was visiting Nimba last week, to forgive the youths and release them from prison. But the President said she preferred to let the law take its course.Also last week the county’s Development Superintendent, Teeko Yorlay, was fired because lawmakers accused him of disrespecting them. The County Legislative Caucus asked the President to summarily dismiss him, which she promptly did. But Mr. Yorlay said he was dismissed because he refused to be part of a corruption ring surrounding the County Development Funds.And here comes another unfavorable story from Nimba, one of the counties hardest hit by Ebola with 135 deaths leaving many orphaned. Our correspondent, Ishmael Menkor, reported in yesterday’s edition that five persons had been charged with theft of Ebola supplies. The story recounts that for months the Nimba people were waiting for ArcelorMittal to complete an Ebola treatment unit, which was finally done. Through the tenacious efforts of the Liberian government, one of the organizations coming forward with support for the Ebola fight is the World Food Program, which recently dispatched to Nimba a huge consignment of food, including beans, rice and cooking oil for Ebola victims.The report of the theft of food supplies meant for people suffering and dying from Ebola is shocking enough. But to learn that four of the five perpetrators were members of the County Health Team is most disturbing.How does one steal from people who are suffering and dying, one’s own people at that—no, not strangers, but Nimba people in that Nimba quarantine center? What does it say about us?With such behaviors and attitudes is it ever possible that Liberians can develop this country? Do we really want development?Why were these people taking the rice to Saclapea, far away from the quarantine center in Ganta? The word “serious” is probably the most frequently used word in the Observer Editorial Column. We have constantly appealed to, encouraged, even begged our people to become more serious about our country and people and more serious in our quest for national development.We seem always to forget that we are Africa’s oldest independent republic. We surely cannot be satisfied with where we are in national development, when most of our people are illiterate or semi-educated at best, when most of our high school students cannot pass a University of Liberia entrance examination; when our healthcare delivery system is stunted, leaving us incapable of managing ourselves in the worst health crisis in our history; when our roads, energy and water supplies are down, among so many other development deficits.Is it not about time we got serious about life, about self-improvement as Liberians and about the survival, growth and development of our country?The only way we can transcend our failings is when we all join together in diligence, honesty, patriotism and conscientiousness to make it happen. May God grant!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)