January 30, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

James beats horse in photo finish

James beats horse in photo finish
James beats horse in photo finish

By Don [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Arms above his head, an exuberant Xavier James celebrated a victory in a much-hyped race against a horse.

Fellow sprinter Daniel Tucker didn't fare as well as he was blitzed by Shady's Liberty at the Vesey Street Track last Friday.

James had bragged all week that he could beat any horse on the island and he proved his point, but just barely against Casmir Camotion.

The former Olympian won the race in a photo finish in front of one of the largest crowds at the track this season.

And now Chris Roque, owner of Casmir Camotion, wants a rematch.

James said: "I feel like Jesse Owens because he beat the same type of horse."

The sprinter almost lost the race because he raised his arms and slowed up before crossing the finish line.

"That was an issue. They want a rematch - I'm going to give it to them because I know I can run faster. It was hard running around in the sand, especially around the corner. I know I can run a lot faster."

James said that after Tucker lost he "felt a lot of pressure. He made me nervous when he lost his heat. I wasn't expecting Daniel to lose by such a large margin. When I saw that I really had to focus."

James said because he was running on sand, it took him longer to warm-up to get used to it. The race was over 125 metres.

James said: "If it was at 100 metres, I would have blown the horse away. I wanted to make it exciting. At 125 metres, it was exactly what we wanted - exciting with a photo finish."

He added that since then he's received kudos from friends, family and the students he teaches at the Gilbert Institute.

"Everybody loved it. It was the event of the night. I had a lot of support. A lot of my students saw it and there was a buzz around school on Monday morning."

Roque said the crowd was bigger than a regular race day. "We had about the same size crowd we get for Boxing Day or New Year's Day. It was really, really good. It was a photo finish. It was really to close to tell without the camera. He can take the victory, but I'm calling for a rematch."

Mark Richardson was driving Casmir Camotion.

"It was a great race," Richardson said. "I didn't think we were going to catch him when we came around the corner and seeing how far in front Xavier was. It came right down to the line. It was amazing we picked him down."

Richardson was itching to get back in the sulky to challenge James again.

"I can't wait to do it again. I definitely want a rematch. I think it will be close again. I don't think either the horse or the man will have an easy time. It will be real close and I'll do a few things different to make it closer."

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