Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Thanks to upsets by STEP IT UP (27-1) and EXPRESS TRUCK (17-1) at Caymanas Park on Wednesday, the Pick-9 had no takers and the carryover to tomorrow's meet stands at $3.4 million.
With the Pick-9 expected to attract more attention this weekend, a payout in excess of $4.5 million looks a real possibility.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from races four to 12, the first Super-6 from races one to six, the late Super-6 from races seven to 12.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a 1200-metre race for native and imported two-year-olds in which old rivals FORCE DE JOUR (Shane Ellis) and JANIBOUTICE (Dane Nelson) should have a keen tussle for top honours in a field of six.
When both American-bred horses met on June 29, the Anthony Nunes-trained colt FORCE DE JOUR led home JANIBOUTICE by 41/2 lengths over 600 metres straight on his debut. And JANIBOUTICE from the Richard Azan stables came back to win easily over 800 metres straight on July 27 and having worked well, should make it close.
The choice, however, has to be FORCE DE JOUR, who has not worked well but will run with Lasix administered for the first time.
Next on the programme is a restricted allowance race for native and imported three-year-olds over 1500 metres in which nine starters have been declared.
Trainer Gary Subratie holds a strong hand with the pair of LEGENDARY PLEASURE (Aaron Chatrie) and the imported horse COUGAR COMMANDER (Omar Walker). Both along with the Wayne DaCosta-trained MIDNIGHT LAUNCH (Dick Cardenas) and LAPTOP (Dane Nelson) should ensure keen competition.
COUGAR COMMANDER had the then favourite MIDNIGHT LAUNCH behind when failing by a head to catch EXCLUSIVE PRINCE over 1300 metres on August 31. He will relish the additional furlong of this race and should outfinish stable-companion LEGENDARY PLEASURE and MIDNIGHT LAUNCH in the closing stages.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER (Walker up) and super fit MR. TRADITIONALIST (Shamaree Muir) should fight out the finish of the third race over 1500 metres, but the former is preferred at the weights in a field of seven. What's more, THE LINCOLN LAWYER beat MR. TRADITIONALIST into second place when scoring over 1400 metres on August 31 and thus gets the nod.
A field of nine maiden four-year-olds and up will face the starter for the fourth race over 1400 metres and here it should come down to another straight fight between MEDICAL CAT (Romario Saunders) and the free-running TRICKY NICKI (Nelson up).
TRICKY NICKI will be gunning to make all following her good third to NAFEESA over 1200 metres recently, but MEDICAL CAT was three lengths ahead of her that day and should now be rewarded for her consistency, especially given the additional furlong.
Hat-trick seeker NOOKLIN BRIDGE (Nelson up) is preferred to the front running EMERGENCE (Walker aboard) in the fifth race (claiming $250,000-$210,000) over 1100 metres (eight runners), while the grey GEYSER SPRING gets the nod over LA'S DANCER and AALIHAAT in the sixth race over 1200 metres for $180,000 claimers.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1)FORCE DE JOUR(2)COUGAR COMMANDER/ LEGENDARY PLEASURE(3)THE LINCOLN LAWYER/ MR TRADITIONALIST(4)MEDICAL CAT/ TRICKY NICKI(5)NOOKLIN BRIDGE/ EMERGENCE(6)GEYSER SPRING/ AALIHAAT