Exotic Gold to glitter in feature
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Recent winner EXOTIC GOLD faces a tough field of open allowance horses over 1,700 metres at Caymanas Park today, but having settled down to her racing this season, the 2012 Oaks winner ought to be followed.
She beat a good field of overnight allowance horses over a mile on June 21, streaking away from TIMEFORARMS to win by 43/4 lengths with a bit in hand.
Although stepping up in class with only 50.0kg, EXOTIC GOLD will be facing much stiffer opposition, five of her six opponents having won in recent months. They include the consistent MILITARY MOVE, FANTABULOUS and UNCLE TAF, her main rivals for the major share of the $786,500 purse.
However, none will report fitter than EXOTIC GOLD, who will again be ridden by Dick Cardenas for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.
The five-year-old mare, by He'stherealthing out of Formally Gold, continues to impress at exercise since the recent win, galloping 51/2 furlongs in 1:07.2 by 1:01.2 last Thursday morning.
The performance that gives her the edge, however, came on March 29 when finishing third in a blanket finish to POTCHEEN and BLAST THEM AWAY in the Eros Trophy grade-one feature over 1,400 metres, her final time being 1:25.3.
She is even better suited to this longer trip, and while the Lawrence Freemantle-trained MILITARY MOVE, in particular, will be coming with blood in his eyes under Shane Ellis, EXOTIC GOLD looks the one to beat.
The programme, which was originally scheduled to facilitate nine races, has been reduced to eight. This came about after the fifth race over 1,400 metres for $180,000 claimers had to be abandoned due to insufficient entries at the final declaration stage. As a result, post time is 1:30 p.m.
Elsewhere on the card, FRANKENSTORM, with Ellis riding for trainer Anthony Nunes, is tipped to win the fifth race over the straight for high claiming horses. The eight-horse field also includes top contenders LASHING FORCE and the recent winners SUNLIGHT EXPRESS and PRINCE O'SHAUN, all fit horses.
I also like STREET DANCER to repeat in the fourth, ENHANCE PROSPERITY in the sixth and MARCI THE BUTCHER in the eighth and final.