Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Having survived last Saturday's race meet, the Pick-9 offers a $1.3 million carryover at Caymanas Park tomorrow and a payout in excess of $2 million looks a real possibility.
The popular exotic bet was derailed by BALLROOM DANCER at 14-1, STERLING GOLD at 9-1 in the closing Track Price Plus Dig Out Handicap and THE SMOKER at 7-1.
The Pick-9 will embrace all nine races. The first Super-6 will be conducted from race two to nine, the overlapping Super-6 from race four to nine.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a 3-y-o maiden race over 1500 metres in which eight horses have been declared. They include top contenders GOODWILL BOY and NOBODY BUT ME, to be ridden by Shane Ellis and champion apprentice Shamaree Muir, respectively.
The Philip Feanny-trained NOBODY BUT ME was quietly fancied at 6-1 to win the Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes on Boxing Day, but ran poorly (outpaced) to finish in 12th place.
Prior to that, he failed by a neck to catch FRANKENSTORM over 1600 metres and with less to do in present company, should fight out the finish with only 51.0kg.
NOBODY BUT ME (figure eight on) is preferred to the free-running GOODWILL BOY, who ran creditably for third behind smart debutant BIGMAN IN TOWN over 1200 metres last Saturday, and will have to be caught.
Next on the programme is a 4-y-o and up restricted allowance race over 1100 metres in which 12 have been declared. Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds a strong hand with the recent winner SOCIAL BUTTERFLY and the sparingly-raced TANTALOO, who returns from a near nine-month absence to contest this race.
Both are up against the highly-fancied MEROVINGIAN QUEEN, who has been knocking at the door. All three should ensure a close contest.
TANTALOO, the mount of newly crowned champion jockey Dane Nelson, will more than likely start favourite, despite the lengthy absence. She has worked fairly well for this re-entry and with nothing outstanding in the line-up, could return on a winning note.
Preference, however, is for the experienced MEROVINGIAN QUEEN, who is not only conveniently placed in the scales (53.0lkg) by virtue of Renardo McNaughton's 3.0kg apprentice claim, but whose fitness is not in question, having failed by a short head to stave off SMOKING TRAIN in the JRTA Trophy race over 1200 metres on December 15.
It should be all DaCosta in the third race over 1100 metres for maiden imported three year olds and up. The 12-time champion trainer saddles as many as four horses in the 12-strong field, best of which is the highly thought-of newcomer COMMANDER ONE (Nelson up), who has been burning up the track at exercise for some time.
The American 3-y-o colt by Evita Villa out of Forest Wildcat turned heads at exercise recently when galloping five furlongs in a fast 59.1. And days prior to that he galloped from the gates in 59.1 by 45.0.
gets the nod
With his preparation complete, COMMANDER ONE who is well drawn on the outside of the field, gets the nod over stable-companion LADY CELTIC under stable apprentice Holanda Butler and ALI'S WONDERBOY.
The fourth over the straight for $180,000 claimers, looks tailored for the down-in-class SABINA, who has recorded all three career wins over the course. Others such as the speedy VANA PROSPECT, AUSTIN LUKE and the recent course winner SEARCHING FOR GOLD should ensure SABINA (Richard 'Bya' Mitchell up) is extended.
The speedy RUNJOHNNY RUN (working well, Muir up) is preferred to PRESCRIPTION in the knotty-looking fifth race over the straight, while JESSIE JAMES (knocking at the door) has little to beat in the sixth race over the straight for 5-y-o and up maidens.
|(1)||NOBODY BUT ME/GOODWILL||BOY|
|(4)||SABINA/SEARCHING FOR GOLD|
|(6)||JESSE JAMES/COMMANDER LEI|