THREE of the biggest names in local horse racing currently active entertained a full house at Caymanas Park on Superstakes Day yesterday.
Both Saint Cecelia, the reigning Horse Of The Year, and her runner-up, Mark My Word, won their respective races on the 12-race card for the third year in succession, while Mismyrtleboyrichie, arguably the best imported runner in the land, returned to his winning ways after a two race hiccup by winning the Imported Mile.
As expected, Mark My Word, installed the 2-5 favourite, romped the 34th $5,000,000 CTL Superstakes by 3 3/4 lengths.
Earlier, Saint Cecelia, ridden by Shane Ellis, made light work of her opponents to log win number three in the 24th Invitational $2,000,000 CTL Caribbean Sprint Championship for Graded Stakes native-bred three-year olds upward by four lengths.
Set off as the 1-9 favourite, Saint Cecelia ran 1,200m in 1:11.1 to win from stablemate The Guv, an 8-1 chance ridden by Aaron Chatrie. A six-year old bay mare, Saint Cecelia is ownd by Robert F Chung & WP Valentine Chung.
Mark My Word, ridden by Winston Griffiths for trainer Richard Azan, who is also a part owner, ran 2,000 in 2:07.1 to register his third consecutive win in the Graded Stakes race for native-bred three-year-olds upward.
Classy Prospect, neglected in the betting as 60-1 shot and ridden by champion jockey in waiting Dane Nelson, was second with Hombre, a former winner of the event showing under champion jockey Dick Cardenas as a 15-1 bet.
Commanding Chief, considered the one most likely to unseat Mark My Word, completed the frame as a 5-1 betting option, ridden by Omar Walker.
Passing the stands for the first time, Classy Prospect led the field at a merry clip and continued to dictate the fractions while being tracked by Hombre, Mark My Word and Commanding Chief.
Approaching the 800m pole, Griffiths began to take closer orders and went in serious chase entering the 1,400m marker to be on the shoulders of the long-time leader, Classy Prospect.
Griffiths then entered the lane just ahead of Classy Prospect, who showed no sign of quitting. Griffiths then bided his time well before asking Mark My Word to run, which he did approaching the 100-m marker and then went about his business.
Classy Prospect a contemporary of the winner at age five, was only passed by the winner as he continued to hold for second.
Owned by Elite Bloodstock Limited, Mark My Word, a five year-old chestnut horse by Market Rally out of Miss Chestnut (Horse Chestnut) and bred by Ham Stables, was winning for the 15th time from 23 career starts and earned $2.7 million as the winner's share for a bankroll of $23,540,500 lifetime.