Crafty Star to atone in race six
Horse racing at Caymanas Park moves into a new phase tomorrow with Supreme Ventures Limited taking control of the near 200-acre racing complex from the Government through the divestment process.
Already, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVERL), the new promoting company, which moved in office on Tuesday, has revealed plans for major infrastructure development of Caymanas Park, a 20 per cent purse increase estimated at $100 million effective in April, upgrading the racing product by writing more suitable conditions for races in line with the horse population, and finding innovative ways to increase revenues in the short term, among other things.
The well-supported 11-race programme offers no carryovers from last Saturday as provision was made by outgoing promoters, Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), to make mandatory payouts on all exotic bets.
The Pick-9, which offers a guaranteed minimum of $1 million, will embrace races three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from six to 11, both having guaranteed minimums of $750,000.
We look at the first Super-6, which commences with a $450,000-$400,000 claiming race over a mile to be contested by eight starters, including the likely favourite, UNBREAKABLE, who steps down in class after finishing 91/4 lengths fifth to ANOTHER FURY over 1300 metres on February 25. That wasn't a bad run on a $550,000 claiming tag, and reporting under new management for this race (claimed) and the trip more suitable, UNBREAKABLE will not be easily denied.
Champion jockey Omar Walker is slated to ride the consistent six-year-old gelding who now takes orders from trainer Johnny Wilmot for high-profile owner Carlton Watson. Incidentally, UNBREAKABLE was the winningest horse of 2016, winning eight races and $3.4 million in stakes.
BULLET RAJ, who is also down in class, gets a glorious opportunity to win the second race over 1100 metres confined to conditional $180,000 claimers. The four-year-old son of Blue Pepsi Lodge - Dancing Gold - showed little behind ARGUMENT DONE over the straight when stepping up on a $250,000 tag on February 4, but prior to that, failed by only half a length to catch RUNJOHNNY RUN over the straight.
Now dropping down to conditional $180,000 claiming, BULLET RAJ, with Rayan Wilson riding for trainer Tyrone Prince, should win from VALLEY OF QUEENS, with female apprentice Natalie Berger again in the saddle and ALDEBARAN in a nine-horse field.
SET TO IMPROVE
BUBBLING KITTEN, who chased home the talented three-year-old colt FEARLESS SAMURAI in a fast-run 1100-metre race (1:06.2) recently, is tipped to go one better in the third race over 1200 metres to be contested by nine very fit horses, including the recent winners LORD EQUUS, LOTTERY TICKET, and hat-trick seeker LIKE A LADY, who is coming to run from her convenient mark, with former champion Wesley Henry again in the saddle.
All in all, BUBBLING KITTEN, with back-to-form Robert Halledeen riding for trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes, has kept better company, finishing five lengths fourth to CAMPESINO over this trip in the grade one Caribbean Sprint Championship on November 12 last year.
LEEKOUT, who has been a model of consistency, now has the services of three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson, and with his rivals nothing much, should win the fourth race over 1400 metres for maiden four-year-olds and up, giving second-generation trainer Michael Marlowe the second win of his career. KUNAMA, who finished a length third to NINELIFECAT over the straight last Saturday, looks the obvious danger in a field of 11.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by the well-forward first-time runner TWILIGHT DREAMS (working very well - 59.1 by 46.3 out of the straight) with Halledeen up, and CRAFTY STAR (Walker up), who lost narrowly to NINELIFECAT last Saturday, to rebound in the sixth over 1200 metres.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) BULLET RAJ/VALLEY OF QUEENS
(3) BUBBLING KITTEN/LIKE A LADY
(5) TWILIGHT DREAMS/ CAPTUREMYSHIP
(6) CRAFTY STAR/PROFILE