Seeking My Dream, Ali Baba set to clash in St Leger
As many as 17 early entries have been received for the 89th running of the season's final classic, the Jamaica St Leger over 2000 metres for native bred three-year-olds to be run at Caymanas Park on Saturday, July 4.
Among them are the first three past the post in the June 13 Cal's Jamaica Derby - the winner, SEEKING MY DREAM, stable companion ALI BABA, and the third horse, KRONUS.
They represent the winners of the three major three-year-old races, with the Wayne DaCosta trained ALI BABA having won the April 6 2000 Guineas over a mile at the expense of SEEKING MY DREAM and the Richard Azan-trained KRONUS getting up in the nick of time to beat SEEKING MY DREAM in the May 23 Lotto Classic over 2000 metres.
SEEKING MY DREAM subsequently extracted his revenge on both, beating them convincingly in the derby.
SEEKING MY DREAM will again be ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker for Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, ALI BABA by leading jockey Robert Halledeen for veteran owner Winston Kong and KRONUS by Richard Mairs for champion and leading owners Elite Bloodstock Limited.
These three will definitely carry the bulk of the betting, but the million-dollar question is whether ALI BABA can rebound from his derby loss over the shorter distance of the St. Leger.
Kong conceded that in the derby, ALI BABA was outstayed by SEEKING MY DREAM whose mother, Alasfra, won the Triple Crown and the Horse of the Year award in 2008. However, he was optimistic that ALI BABA will run a better race over the shorter distance of the St Leger.
"Both horses were heads on for the lead entering the straight in the derby, before Seeking My Dream's superior stamina kicked in. Ali Baba should welcome the shorter distance and the St Leger is shaping up to be a good race between the two stable-companions," said Kong, who owned and bred the 2009 Horse of the Year and Champion Sprinter Ahwhofah, the dam of ALI BABA.
Meanwhile, in addition to SEEKING MY DREAM, ALI BABA and KRONUS, the remaining early entries are as follows: POKER STAR, ORIGINAL TRAIN, stable companion SUPERLUMINAL, SOUTHERN CRUISE, ACTION MAN, BALLON D'OR, BONGO KING, COMPUTERIZE, ROAD WI SEH, SHINING LIGHT, SHINE, MERLIN, GOFORTHEGLORY and GRANVILLE GRETA.
The race offers a total purse of $3.5 million.