HORSERACING'S biggest gala race day in recent memory will unfold at Caymanas Park today with the running of the $1,320,000 Prime Minister's Stakes.
The Independence Race Day festival of 10 races brings to an end the three-day racing Carnival and is mounted on a fabulous day of rich musical renditions by world-renowned entertainers for the added enjoyment of racing fans to emblaze the occasion of the 50th year of Jamaica's Independence.
Promoted by Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) and sponsored by a host of lovers of thoroughbred racing through the dynamic efforts of local businessman and CTL director P Andrew Azar, the bulk of the $1.2 million realised will go directly toward the general racing public in attendance who will receive lots of prizes and giveaways. This will be further embellished by musical entertainment from a select cadre of entertainers that should include George Nooks, former Festival song winner Tinga Stewart and Bunny Brown.
This list is not complete as some of the other entertainers who have expressed the desire to appear are yet to confirm.
On the track, where 10 races will be contested over varying distances between 12:15 pm and 5:30 pm, the Prime Minister's Stakes will be the day's principal feature and the American-bred Mismyrtleboyrichie will attempt to equal the record of winning 11 consecutive races.
War Zone, a local-bred horse, currently holds the record of 11 consecutive wins.
The Prime Minister's Stakes, a Graded Stakes race for three-year-olds and upward, which will be contested over 2,000 metres, hasa field of five runners for the two-turn event.
Mismyrtleboyrichie, the morning line favourite, will be taking on this extended journey for the first time but has shown devastating form since returning to competitive racing following a 13-month recuperation. It may seem foolhardy to oppose him as it will take a Herculean effort from one of his four rivals to lower his colours even going this far.
The four-year-old bay colt by Mingun out of Two Punch Christy (Two Punch) Mismyrtleboyrichie, trained by Lorne Kirlew for owner Jigzy Blades, lost his first race as a two-year-old. However, since then he has not tasted defeat as he humbled all comers before him during which time he racked up a string of nine victories.
Following his recuperative break, Mismyrtleboyrichie returned to racing on July 14 and immediately showed how well he has grown in stature since his absence with a command performance against Commanding Chief that dismissed last season's St Leger winner by an impressive six lengths going 1,600 metres with a good time of 1:37.2
The Noel Ennevor-trained imported four-year-old bay colt Emperor Hall looks the likely one to offer Mismyrtleboyrichie more by way of competition during the running. Emperor Hall was saddled with top weight when they last met over 1,600 metres, but on this occasion will be in receipt of 7.0kg.
Ones To Watch
Race 1 Emergence (Shane Ellis)
Race 2 Uncle Ken (Shane Ellis)
Race 3 Kal Kal (Dane Nelson)
Race 4 My Girl Tiffany (Jevvanne Erwin)
Race 5 New Kingston (Dane Nelson)
Race 6 Money Honey (Shane Ellis)
Race 7 Anntrack (Oneil Mullings)
Race 8 Platinum King (Clive Lynch)
Race 9 Mismyrtleboyrichie (Omar Walker)
Race 10 Chrismas Gift (Richard Mitchell)