The 34th running of the $5,000,000 CTL Superstakes takes on panoramic proportions today at Caymanas Park, the pantheon of local horse-racing, when the noted demigods of thoroughbred racers gather for a comprehensive display of their finest divergent racing talents.
It is a momentous day with no less than four Graded Stakes events carded on a 12-race programme that offers purse money totalling $13,000,000.
The CTL Superstakes is the premier race among the Graded Stakes events and is scheduled to be run at approximately 4:35 pm. First post at 11:30 am.
The Superstakes will be contested over a distance of 2,000 metres and features four really outstanding thoroughbred in Mark My Word, Commanding Chief, Hombre and the three-year-old sensation Typewriter in the field of 11. Being a day of reckoning, when the starter sends them on their way almost any number can play as the runners were all well prepared for the testing journey.
Notwithstanding preparations, from here in Mark My Word has shown that he is right on top of his game and it will take a Herculean run to lower the colours of owners Elite Bloodstock Limited. Any such truncation of the attempt will also deny the five-year-old chestnut horse, trained by Richard Azan who is also a part owner, his third consecutive success in the event.
Judging by the most recent performances, Commanding Chief has come closet to defeating Mark My Word. Facing each other for their prep race before their Superstakes clash today, Mark My Word was a narrow winner over today's distance by a neck in the Governor General Stakes going 2,000 metres on October 15. Commanding Chief, with 2.0kg lighter than Mark My Word and ridden by Dick Cardenas, lead for some 1,600 metres but was run out of it close home from a determined and tenacious Mark My Word then ridden by claiming apprentice Jemar Jackson. Both will be sitting even at 57.0kg today with the five-time champion jockey Winston Griffiths getting the call aboard Mark My Word and the four-time champion jockey Omar Walker doing similar duties for trainer Everal Francis aboard Commanding Chief owned by Doks Stable.
In two previous attempts, Walker has failed to win on Commanding Chief, while Griffiths has piloted Mark My Word to victory in his previous attempt.
Of no less interest is the other big Graded Stakes race on the card, the 24th running of the $2,000,000 CTL Caribbean Sprint Championship. Here Saint Cecelia, the reigning Horse Of The Year and Champion Sprinter, will compete for her third consecutive success in the highly esteemed championship race.
The Caribbean Sprint is a Graded Stakes race for native-bred three-year-olds upward and will be contested by a field of eight runners going 1,200 metres.
Saint Cecelia, a six-year-old chestnut mare by Burning Marque out of She's On Wheels (Bates Motel) and bred by Ham Stables Ltd, has already won four races for the season and has been undefeated in her last nine races which puts her in line for a crack at the most win record of 12 held at present by War Zone.
Prepared for the races by trainer by Spencer Chung for owners Robert F Chung & WP Valentine Chung, Saint Cecelia has been well freshened for the bid after turning back the mercurial Mismyrtleboyrichie over the identical distance as today's on last.
Though the race is not as competitive as on last nonetheless, Saint Cecelia will be severely tested by four-year-old chestnut filly, Sweet Trial. A disqualified winner over 1,400 metres on last, the Patrick Chang-conditioned daughter of Tracking out of Brown Sugar (Footloose II) bred by Melvin Lawes and owned by Arscott Farms Sweet Trial has been prepared to make amends. Winston Griffiths, who was aboard when Sweet Trial won over today's distance on September 15, has been recalled to the saddle to replace champion jockey Dick Cardenas who was in the irons on last.
Imported American quick stepper, Mismyrtleboyrichie, who suffered defeat in his last two races will seek redemption when he competes in the 20th running of the $1,500,00 CTL Imported Mile going 1,600 metres.
An Invitational Handicap race for imported, three-year-olds upward who were not foaled in Jamaica, Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago, a field of seven was declared that also includes the talented bay filly Noon It Is, who was a fast time winner over 1,300 metres on October 31.
Walker, who is the preferred rider for both Mismyrtleboyrichie trained by Lorne Kirlew and Noon It Is trained by Gary Subratie, has opted to ride Mismyrtleboyrichie which gives the suggestion that following his two hiccups the four-year-old bay son of Mingun with less to do here will return to his winning ways.
Ones To Watch
Race 1 Dolla Win (Dane Nelson)
Race 2 El Numero Uno (Dane Nelson)
Race 3 Saint Cecelia (Shane Ellis)
Race 4 Christmas Git (Richad Mitchell)
Race 5 Diplomaticimmunity (Dick Cardenas)
Race 6 Safe Passage (Dane Nelson)
Race 7 Mismyrtleboyrichie (Omar Walker)
Race 8 Sir Willie (Dane Nelson)
Race 9 Raja Hindustani (Shane Ellis)
Race 10 Antoinette (Dick Cardenas)
Race 11 Mark My Word (Winston Griffiths)
Race 12 Classic Pleasure (Ameth Robles)