A Thousand Stars to miss Lotto Classic
Caymanas Track Limited's racing secretary, Denzil Miller Jr, has predicted that a maximum field of 16 will face the starter for the 76th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup at Caymanas Park on Saturday, May 28, but recent Oaks winner A THOUSAND STARS will not be among them.
The prestigious mile and quarter race which will be sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited for the 15th consecutive year offers a total purse of $3 million and is a major prep for the June 25 Cal's Jamaica Derby over 2400 metres.
At yesterday's Lotto Classic launch at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, Miller named A THOUSAND STARS among a list of 25 nominees but 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta disclosed at the end of the function that his charge will bypass the race as he claimed "conditions were stacked against her as she would have no chance against the colts with 57.0kg".
Instead, A THOUSAND STARS, who is owned and bred by DaCosta's wife Elizabeth, will run on Labour Day, May 23, in an open allowance race for the Mark My Word Trophy over 1820 metres.
The trainer added: "Whatever happens in the Mark My Word Trophy, she will take her place in the derby and St. Leger field as well. After that, it's off to the breeding farm for her," he stated bluntly.
Three of those certain to start are the Anthony Nines-trained ORPHEUS, who was a fast-finishing second to FUTURE KING in the Post To Post 2000 Guineas over a mile then came back with a fast-time win over 1820 metres on May 11, the Guineas third CHACE THE GREAT and the vastly improved grey colt MR DOITBETTA whose owner/trainer Lorenzo Robinson, in expressing confidence ahead of the race, confirmed that the promising apprentice Hakeem Pottinger will again have the ride having won aboard him twice in recent weeks.
In addition to the Lotto Classic, Miller said the programme will feature the 20th running of the Lotto Sprint Trophy grade one race over 1100 metres for a purse of $1.5 million, a race in which champion sprinter POKER STAR will headline the field, and the $1 million Lotto Juvenile Stakes for maiden two-year-olds over 600 metres straight. SVL has donated $300,000 to the purse of the Lotto Sprint.
Also speaking at the launch were Diahann Guy-Shepherd, sponsorship, promotions and branding manager Supreme Ventures, along with Shane Dalling, newly appointed deputy chairman of CTL.
Guy-Shepherd reminded the audience that SVL remains the foremost sponsors of horse racing at Caymanas Park, as Lotto Day marks the first of four race days on the calendar sponsored by the gaming entity ahead of the lucrative two-year-old triple crown series which kicks off on October 15 with the Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy over 1200 metres and concludes on Boxing Day with the $4.25 million SVL Jamaica two-year-old Stakes.