It's Sorrentino's Stakes - Feanny filly to triumph in Supreme Ventures
The $11.5 million Supreme Ventures Two-Year-Old Triple Crown Series will conclude at Caymanas Park today with a maximum field of 16 native breds down to contest the 104th running of the Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile, and what a race it promises to be.
At stake is a whopping purse of $4 million and a chance to be crowned Champion 2-Y-O.
The race has attracted the cream of the crop, including the Wayne DaCosta-trained DREAMLINER, who won the first race in the series, the $2.95 million Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy over 1200 metres on October 19, and Philip Feanny's SORRENTINO'S STAR, winner of the $3.6 million Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres on November 28, a race in which DREAMLINER finished three lengths fourth.
Other top contenders are FUTURE KING, who was a fast-finishing second to SORRENTINO'S STAR in the Pick-3 Super Challenge, ZUGULU from the Richard Azan stables, as well as DREAMING THE CODE, who made an auspicious fast-time debut over 1100 metres in maiden company on October 31, the Anthony 'Baba' Nunes-trained BIGDADDY KOOL, who romped the recent Andrew H.B. Aguilar Memorial Cup over the distance and not least, Gary Subratie's NUCLEAR AFFAIR, who was a strong second to DREAMLINER in the Cash Pot Trophy.
Although soon to be crowned 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds a good hand with FUTURE KING (Robert Halledeen) and DREAMLINER (Omar Walker), a more interesting entry is the Carl Anderson owned and trained DREAMING THE CODE, who made all to win in the smart time of 1:06.0 in early November.
Anderson, who is also the breeder of this promising filly by Coded Warning out of Sea of Dreams, took the decision to bypass the Pick-3 Challenge, saying she needed a bit more working on physically, but he's upbeat about her chances even in this tough field.
"I really have high hopes for her ... . She's looking better and better at exercise as the race approaches, galloping six furlongs in 1:14.0, easily, the other morning. More importantly, she is bred to stay a mile, and all that is left for her to do is execute on the day," said Anderson, owner and breeder of the 2001 derby, 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner AWESOME POWER.
Subratie, who watched his filly NUCLEAR AFFAIR finished a good second in the Cash Pot Trophy, but missed the Pick-3 Super Challenge six weeks later, is beaming with confidence ahead of the race.
"She was injured in a fall after the Cash Pot and I decided not to run her in the Pick-3 Super Challenge", explains the second-generation trainer. But he was quick to add that she has impressed with her preparation.
"She looked real sharp when blazing six furlongs in 1:13.1 at exercise a week ago, and with a mile just perfect, can definitely go one better," Subratie added.
She had subsequent Pick-3 winner SORRENTINO'S STAR just behind in the Cash Pot Trophy when administered Lasix for the first time, and now a better filly since that race in mid-October, she is coming to run a big race with Aaron Chatrie aboard.
While it could be said that the race has an open look about it and will be closely contested, the one I like best is SORRENTINO'S STAR, who had no luck in running (hindered furlong out) when finishing a close fourth in the Cash Pot Trophy, but easily made amends in the Pick-3 Challenge, with Dane Nelson aboard, to release her maiden certificate.
There was a lot to like about the manner in which she disposed of the leader and 6-5 favourite ZUGULU approaching the distance to win, going away in the good time of 1:26.3. With the outgoing champion jockey sticking with the ride and 14-time champion Philip Feanny having her in good nick, I fancy her chances over the additional 200 metres of this race.
The bay filly by Sorrentino out of Santa Baby packs a good turn of foot and this should serve her well in this quality field. FUTURE KING and NUCLEAR AFFAIR are twin dangers.
The traditional Boxing Day co-feature for the Harry Jackson Memorial over 2400 metres will be contested by a small field of six, among arch rivals TRYPEWRITER and PEREFECT NEIGHBOUR, the top-two distance horses in the country.
The Wayne DaCosta-trained PERFECT NEIGHBOUR humbled the then favourite TYPEWRITER to win this race by a wide margin last year, and although the Spencer Chung-trained TYPEWRITER finished second to SEEKING MY DREAM in the recent Diamond Mile having PERFECT NEIGHBOUR behind in third, the latter has been the more consistent and thus gets the vote.