Don't oppose Ali Baba
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the Pick-9 having eluded punters at the January 25 Sunday meet, the jackpot at Caymanas Park tomorrow stands at $ 1 million, while both Super-6s start anew with guaranteed minimums of $750,000.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from race three to 11, the first Super-6 from race two to seven, the late Super-6 from race six to 11.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets underway with a restricted allowance race over 1500 metres for three-year-olds to be contested by nine starters (non winners of two).
The field includes ante-post favourite ALI BABA (Robert Halledeen up) , who by virtue of his 3-1/4 lengths second to the classy ALACRANN in the $4.25 million Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile last Boxing Day, looks the one to beat.
poised to win
Trained by 14-time champion Wayne DaCosta, ALI BABA stayed on well for second, 2-1/2 lengths ahead of the speedy filly COME DANCE WITH ME in third. ALI BABA also had Anthony Nunes' pair of BALLON D'OR and HOUDINI'S MAGIC behind him in seventh and ninth places, respectively, and having looked sharp at exercise, galloping six furlongs in 1:13.0 last Sunday morning, should win from Dane Nelson's mount, BALLON D'OR.
Race three, the second in the first Super-6, should provide the Richard Azan-trained 3-y-o colt MAN IN BLUE (Omar Walker up) with victory on this his debut over 1200 metres. The 3-y-o bay colt by two-time "Horse of the Year' Miracle Man out of the Footloose II mare Chiriya, has looked well forward at exercise and despite the presence of fellow newcomers BLESSEDNESS (Shane Ellis) and EL SALDADO (Jevanne Erwin), should win first time of asking, having galloped five furlongs in 1:02.0 easily at exercise recently.
The Nunes-trained STOP A GAP, now dropped three classes for the fourth race over 1300 metres, looks hard to oppose in a field of 12 from the claiming spread $250,000 - $210,000.
STOP A GAP, who ran poorly on a $500,000 tag behind ALSO CORRECT over a mile on January 10, has little to beat now down to this level and with champion jockey Dane Nelson sticking with the ride, should win from the Dave Girod-trained ST. BERNARD (also down in class with Walker up) and BURNING MEDIC. Significantly, STOP A GAP won the Emancipation Day Trophy over this trip on a $500,000 claiming tag on August 1 last year.
The last two races in the first Super-6 (6th and 7th) should be won by GLORIOUS CAUSE (Lasix administered) with Halledeen aboard and the DaCosta-trained first time runner MAKE MY DAY (working fairly well, Halledeen again) in the 4-y-o and up maiden race the straight. Their respective dangers are LORD STORM in the sixth and RUNNER RUNNER in the seventh.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) ALI BABA
(3) MAN IN BLUE/BLESSEDNESS
(4) STOP A GAP/ST. BERNARD
(6) GLORIOUS CAUSE/LORD STORM
(7) MAKE IT MY DAY/RUNNER RUNNER