King D ready to rule
Today's pre-Xmas nine-race programme at Caymanas Park will be highlighted by the annual renewal of the War Zone Sprint Trophy over 1100 metres, a three-year-old restricted stakes for native-breds.
Offering a total purse of $850,000, the race is run in honour of the 1996 Triple Crown winner and 'Horse of the Year' WAR ZONE, who once held the record of 12 consecutive wins.
WAR ZONE was trained by 15-time champion Wayne DaCosta who saddles one of the fancied runners, LOTTERY TICKET, in the 10-horse field.
A recent winner under stable jockey Omar Walker, LOTTERY TICKET would be a fitting winner for DaCosta with Walker again at the helm. But she will encounter stiff opposition from the trio of KING D, SIMPLY THE BEST and LORD EQUUS, all capable types.
Both KING D with title-chasing apprentice Bebeto Harvey aboard and SIMPLY THE BEST with three-time champion Dane Nelson are fleet-footed types who will make things pretty hot on the headlines. However, KING D from the Spencer Chung stables has more appeal, and having won twice in recent months, clocking fast times, should rebound in a race of this nature.
Also on the card are the Flossie McNeil Memorial Cup over 1200 metres for native-bred three-year-old fillies (non-winners of two) and the Sunnyside Stakes over 1100 metres for native-bred two-year-old fillies.
Twelve will face the starter in the Sunnyside Stakes and indications are victory will go to the well-forward debutante BLUE TRADITION, to be ridden by Linton Steadman for trainer Anthony Nunes. The bay filly by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Sense of Tradition has looked razor sharp at exercise, galloping 5 1/2 furlongs in a brisk 1:07.4 by 1:01.0 last Sunday morning, and a fast 59.0 from the gates. She should win from the experienced TOUGH COOKIE.
I also like MISS MYRTLE (Walker up) ahead of OCEAN SEEKER in the closing race for the Flossie McNeil Memorial Cup to be contested by the maximum 16 starters; ZACKONTHEATTACK to repeat in the third race; SHARP SKIRT in the fourth and MERU in the sixth.