WIN DEM WHEELZ, in association with Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), will pay homage to racehorse grooms at Caymanas Park on Saturday, April 23, with the Grooms’ Association Day race meet comprising 11 races. Details for Grooms’ Association Day were outlined by Andrew Azar, managing director of Win Dem Wheelz, as well as Cedric Stewart, chief executive officer of CTL and racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr at yesterday’s launch in the Trainers’ Room at Caymanas Park. To begin with, five veteran grooms will be honoured on the afternoon in recognition of their long and dedicated contribution to racing for 50 years. They are Headley Scott, popularly called ‘Scott Brady’, who groomed the second horse (Cardigan) to win on the opening day of Caymanas Park on August 22, 1959, and was a top groom with the legendary trainer Aston Commock back then; as well as Lenford Walker, Everald White, Fitzroy Tulloch and Roy Hamilton. The card will also feature the running of the Win Dem Wheelz Trophy over a mile for $180,000 claimers, this offering a total purse of $550,000 inclusive of $50,000 from the sponsor; the Grooms’ Association Trophy claiming $250,000 – $210,000, with a purse of $530,000; and, above all, the grade one renewal of the Legal Light Trophy over 1820 metres, with a purse o $1.2 million. According to Azar, grooms are “very special people to our industry and the unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to the daily care of the magnificent thoroughbred. On this special occasion, it is only fitting to mention the names of the five grooms who will be honoured”. Azar further stated that the first five grooms in each of the 11 races on the card would receive valuable product prizes and ultimately, the names of all grooms, who have horses on the programme will be placed in a raffle, and at the end of the meet, a lucky groom would receive a Ramco 250 Tiger motorcycle valued at $300,000, courtesy of Win Dem Wheelz. Azar was hailed by Trainers’ Association president Vin Edwards, United Trainers’ Association president Dale Murphy, and Grooms’ Asso- ciation president Fabian White for his generosity, social conscience, and unwavering support for racing, not only in his capacity as an outgoing deputy chairman of CTL, but through the support of his company. Vin Edwards said over a decade ago, he made representations for grooms to be included in the Hall of Fame, and although this was resisted initially, his persistent efforts paved the way for Vincent Blackwood to be the first groom to be so honoured some years ago. Edwards contends that divestment has never been successful in Jamaica, and he is sceptical that the pending divestment of racing will be beneficial to all stakeholders in racing. And finally, Edwards called for an investigation into the $750 million spent in the construction of the Jamaica Racing Commission /Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission building at 78C Hagley Park Road, which has become dysfunctional for the most part. -O.C.
The world is going to get a lot more Ben Carson in the coming weeks, as the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ups his public profile during the newly-proclaimed National Homeownership Month.Recently, President Trump proclaimed June as National Homeownership Month—the first of its kind—in an effort to “recognize the many benefits of homeownership to families, our communities, and our nation.”“For generations of Americans, owning a home has been an essential element in achieving the American Dream,” President Trump said in his proclamation. “Homeownership is often the foundation of security and prosperity for families and communities and an enduring symbol of American freedom. This month, we recommit to ensuring that hard-working Americans enjoy a fair chance at becoming homeowners.”Carson kicked off Homeownership Month on Thursday with an academic forum at his own department, discussing the state of homeownership in the U.S., the aftermath of the housing crisis, and homeownership hurdles specific to the millennial generation.“After all we’ve been through, homeownership remains an American value and the cornerstone of our economy,” Carson said. “Today, we recognize the abiding value of owning a home, and rededicate ourselves toward ensuring that every hardworking and credit-worthy American enjoys a fair chance at becoming a homeowner.”He also addressed the housing crisis during the forum, telling the audience, “We must heed worries and warnings. We must be prudent and wise, far-reaching and visionary. We want to make sure that homeownership is on solid ground, now and in the future. We need ethical behavior, risk within smart boundaries, and best practices, personally and financially. We must follow those practices that are fair, responsible, transparent, and prudent. The bankers, lenders, and investors are not playing with Monopoly money. They have been entrusted with a duty to safeguard the hard-earned money of others, and we must hold them to their duties, fiduciary and otherwise, not just in words, but actions and investments. As we learned in 2008, the consequences of irresponsible behavior are national and international.”But today’s forum was just the start of a busy month for Carson, as he makes the round in the media and around Capitol Hill.Next week, he’ll testify before Congress on President’s Trump 2018 budget blueprint, which proposes serious cuts—more than $6.2 billion—from HUD’s budget. The blueprint also ends the Community Development Block Grant program and slashes funding from the department’s rental assistance services.So far, Carson has been optimistic about the cuts, saying “While the scale of this reduction is significant, we are prepared to meet its challenges.”Carson also recently talked with Sirius XM radio host Armstrong Williams about the “mindset” of poverty, as well as the role the government should play in helping its impoverished citizens. Carson told Williams that the government can provide a “helping hand” to those in need, but that “sustaining them in a position of poverty” was not wise.”It [government] can provide the ladder of opportunity,” Carson said. “It can provide the mechanism that will demonstrate to them what can be done.”Despite looming cuts to HUD’s budget, President Trump has said he remains committed to helping Americans become homeowners.“As part of my Administration’s plan to strengthen the middle class and the American housing market, I am working with the Congress on a pro-growth agenda of reducing rules and regulations, cutting taxes, and eliminating unnecessary government spending. These policies will unshackle our economy and create and sustain high-paying jobs so that more Americans have the resources and freedom they deserve to fulfill their American Dream. Share Secretary Carson Kicks Off Homeownership Month with Forum Ben Carson budget Budget Cuts Homeownership homeownership month HOUSING HUD President Trump 2017-06-01 Aly J. Yale June 1, 2017 621 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News