Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
It's Fan Appreciation Day at Caymanas Park, the 11-race programme featuring the 14th running of the $180,000 claiming race for the McKay Security Trophy over 1820 metres and Fan Appreciation Day Trophy supporting feature over the same distance for overnight allowance horses.
The holiday card, which signals the start of a new season of racing, also facilitates the traditional New Year's Day Trophy race over 1300 metres (non-winners of three other than). This has attracted six starters, including top contenders PRINCESS SHANEIL and ALL CORRECT.
As is customary, Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) hosts Fan Appreciation Day as their way of saying 'thank you' to racing fans for their support in 2013 by making certain concessions to them on the day.
Meanwhile, both sections of the McKay Security Trophy race have attracted 10 starters. Owing to the whopping $1 million purse, entries were heavier than usual and the race had to be divided.
This being the case, provision has been made by CTL to offer $750,000 for each section, more than double the purse offered for a normal $180,000 claiming race.
Leading lights in division one are CAUSE FOR CONCERN, SUNDOWN, GREEN BERET, MONEY HONEY, and the down-in-class MISS MAY.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN and SUNDOWN will love the distance, but SUNDOWN strikes me as the better horse and with owner/trainer Dennis Lee going for the competent 3.0kg claiming apprentice Orlando Foster - reducing the weight to 54.0kg - looks the right choice now down in class. CAUSE FOR CONCERN and MISS MAY, both of whom have already won over this trip, are twin dangers.
The late-kicking JAGSOVER, now dropped two classes, holds the key to division two. However, the six-year-old gelding from the barn of Nicholas Edwards should be wary of another down-in-class horse, FIRST EDITION, who beat him by a neck when they last met over 2000 metres on October 2.
Nine will contest the Fan Appreciation Day Trophy, and from the look of things, the race should come down to a straight fight between old rivals EXOTIC GOLD (Dick Cardenas up) and RAGING PROSPECT (Shamaree Muir), fourth and fifth, respectively, to TYPEWRITER in the November 9 Talawah Superstakes over 2000 metres. RAGING PROSPECT enjoys a 5.0kg swing and thus gets the vote.
I also like consistent PRINCESS SHANEIL to win the New Year's Day Trophy, the 2-y-o LOCKED AND LOADED (third race) and the imported colt EL PODEROSO to turn the tables on recent conqueror POTCHEEN in the seventh race over 1300 metres for open allowance horses.