The $715,000 Kenneth Mattis OD Trophy will headline today's nine-race card at Caymanas Park and the Overnight Allowance event has offered veteran trainer Noel Ennevor another opportunity to showcase his prowess in preparing runners in unbeatable condition going testing two-turn distances.
A small field of five runners will contest the 2,000 metres run at approximately 4:55 pm with first post at 12:45 pm.
In such a small field, the race looks certain to be a straight fight between the principal runners — Hombre and Erasmo. Competent jockeys will ride both horses. Winston Griffiths, the five-time champion jockey and Hall of Famer will have the leg up on Hombre for trainer Ennevor, while the current champion jockey Dick Cardenas will ride Erasmo for trainer Richard Azan.
Hombre, a seven-year-old bay gelding by Pat N Jac out of Muchacha Favorita (Slick Trick) bred and owned by Wessel Burnett has accomplished more over this distance than his rivals and following his recent prep in a losing effort in a fast run 1,400 metres event, the former Superstakes winner should be primed enough to handle these.
Erasmo, who was last year's Lotto Classic winner, was also in that fast run 1,400 metres event with Hombre and finished a close enough third 3 3/4 lengths back.
A four-year-old chestnut gelding by Sir Cherokee out of You Can't Hide (Alphabet Soup) bred at Ham Stables Limited and owned by Elite Bloodstock Limited this run should serve Erasmo in good stead.
Among the other runners in the line-up only the Devon Thomas-ridden Cold Ground, last year's third place finisher in the Superstakes and the consistent Prince Rohan, with Paul Francis astride, who now takes orders from trainer Victor Williams after being claimed out of his last race for a tag of $500,000 are expected to offer any real opposition to Hombre and Erasmo. Prince Of Peace, the other runner may well be scratched out of the race that will leave only four run. Prince Of Peace will be ridden by claiming apprentice Arthur Budhu.
Elsewhere on the card with the ultra rich Supreme Ventures Limited-sponsored races approaching, native-bred two-year-old races are becoming a constant feature on racing programmes. Today's 10-race card should be no exception. Some juveniles, while they have good ability, will take some time to get really accustomed to large fields and with this well-supported maiden special weight contest going 800 metres straight expected to be fierce, some performances may disappoint while others may surpass expectations.
Here a nice and sprightly looking collection of four colts and five fillies look really geared to be closely competitive going over the straight.
With a high element of surprise in the behaviour pattern displayed by juveniles running for the first time it is not always easy to predict how they will perform and almost any number can play.
Be that as it may, from some exercise reports On Song, a bay colt by Who's Stayin On bred by Vincent Lumsden, owned by VMW and trained by Margaret Parchment, looks to be of worth and a lively run looks carded with jockey Oneil Mullings called to the saddle.
Another who is conditioned to show up prominently in the quarter-mile dash is Borderline. A bay colt by Traditional owned by Elite Bloodstock Limited and bred by Ham Stables Limited, Borderline, like his other eight rivals, will be opening his racing career and with winning a lively prospect the leading jockey Dane Nelson will ride for trainer Richard Azan.
Hamark Farms bred and owned Shamrock, a bay filly by Alisios, looks well trained to live up to her name, and with the two-year-old riding guru Shane Ellis called to duty in the saddle, it could well be shamrock for her rivals.