El Nuevo Comandante
El Nuevo Comandante ("The New Commander"), renamed Hipodromo Camarero after a change of ownership in 2006, is a horse racing building located in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico, to the east of San Juan and Carolina. It is about a fifteen minute drive from Carolina's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, and 25 minutes east from the Isla Verde hotel area.
El Nuevo Comandante was built in 1972,and opnened on October 31, 1976, to substitute the original "El Comandante" building, which had been located in Carolina, from January 1957 to mid October 1976. It has become arguably the most important horse racing complex in the island, holding horse races every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
El Nuevo Comandante features a betting window, in which players can try their luck at different games, such as "El Pool Pote" and others. The top award a player can win at El Nuevo Comandante is one million dollars, but this award has been claimed only once in history. In addition to the betting windows at El Nuevo Comandante, the sports complex has a link of betting agencies throughout Puerto Rico. These are called "agencias hipicas", and people can go there to place bets as well.
Races at "El Nuevo Comandante" have been shown on local television and Les Oraliens on radio since the building was inaugurated. Some of the most famous television sportscasters in Puerto Rican history have commented from there include Norman H. Davila and Manolo Rivera Morales.
Some famous horse racers have run there too, including Hall of Famer Angel Cordero , John Velazquez and J.A. Garcia.
Famous Imported horses to run at El Nuevo Comandante have been: Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Bold Forbes, Santa Anita Derby winner Mister Frisky, Bandit Bomber, Dawn Glory (Stakes winner in USA).
Among the native horses: Hurly Road (Triple Crown winner), Ribot's Verset (one of the best sires in Puerto Rican history), My favorite Place (Multiple allowance winner in California) Capa Prieto (undefeated for years), Camarero (Holds a record of 56 consecutive races won in a row), Vuelve Candy B. (Triple Crown winner and first horse to earn a million dollars in Puerto Rico, Verset Dancer (Caribbean Derby winner and winner in USA) and Verset's Jet (son of Verset Dancer) and winner of Caribbean Derby and Confraternidad stakes-First horse to do so; among others.
We also have the infamous distinction (Guinness record) of having the horse with the most consecutive losses (Dona Chepa) with 134 consecutive loses (through 11/2/08 without a win!
El Nuevo Comandante is also the site where the most famous race in the Caribbean has been held for 32 years: The Clasico del Caribe is celebrated there yearly, with horses participating from Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, among other countries.