DaCosta: Race tactics will be key in derby
Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta believes the application and expertise of the jockeys in the saddle will be most crucial in deciding the winner of the biggest race on the local racing calender, the Cal's Jamaica Derby, which will be run tomorrow at Caymanas Park.
DaCosta, in an interview with The Gleaner on Tuesday, said 'jockeyship' will be key and he has full confidence in his stable riders, Robert Halledeen, who will ride FUTURE KING, and Omar Walker, who will be aboard A THOUSAND STARS.
"Jockeyship will play a major part in who wins the derby and who doesn't. Most of the horses are very close in ability, so jockeyship is going to play a major part ... .
"Omar (Walker) has not ridden A THOUSAND STARS since she has improved - Halledeen was the one who rode her to victory in the Oaks - but Omar has opted to ride her (A THOUSAND STARS). But I am happy with both jockeys. Both have been working the horses and I see no problem with any of them," he said.
The veteran trainer, who is aiming for his sixth derby win, says he knows the main challengers and he does not expect any surprises.
"There are quite a few horses in there who have good chances. BIGDADDYKOOL, ORPHEUS, NUCLEAR AFFAIR are the top contenders, but I figure I am just as good as any of them, so I definitely think we have a good chance of coming out winners on Saturday," he said.