'Tony K' McKay Derby favourite
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
THE 2000 Guineas and Lotto classic winner, TALENTED TONY K, has been installed an 8-5 ante-post favourite by the country's top oddsmaker for Saturday's 94th running of the McKay Security Jamaica Derby over 2400 metres at Caymanas Park.
The colt's trainer, Lorne Kirlew, said he expected TONY K to be a firm favourite based on his last win in the May 24 Lotto Classic (Governor's Cup) over 2000 metres.
"It was a classy performance," he declared. "He gave each of his opponents lumps of weight and came out victorious and although he won by only a short head from the late-charging RELAMPAGO, one cannot lose sight of the fact that he was allowing him 7kg," added the second generation trainer, who is beaming with confidence ahead of the race.
TALENTED TONY K will be ridden by top flight American jockey Edgar Prado, who will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of another American rider, Orlando Bocachica, who booted home the highly fancied PERFECT NEIGHBOUR for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta in last year's race.
Kirlew disclosed that TALENTED TONY K came out of the Lotto Classic in good nick and "his preparation is on cue for the race".
title chasing jockey
The oddsmaker has quoted the Anthony 'Baba' Nunes-trained RELAMPAGO with Shane Ellis aboard as the 5-2 second favourite in a field of 14, followed by Philip Feanny's ROCKETMAN at 7-2 under leading all-time classic-winning jockey Winston 'Fanna' Griffiths; 1000 Guineas winner QUEEN PAULA with Andre Martin riding for owner/trainer Lorenzo Robinson at 5-1; Oaks winner RAEVEN RENAE with title chasing jockey Dick Cardenas riding for trainer Fitzroy Glispie at 6-1; and the Patrick Chang-trained BLACK THORN under champion jockey Dane Nelson at odds of 12-1.
The draw for post positions will be conducted this afternoon in the Trainers' Room at Caymanas Park, starting at 2 p.m. in the presence of CTL and JRC officials, owners and trainers, as well as representatives of the sponsor, McKay Security Limited.