Sports

Today is nomination day for BOOM Jamaica Derby, I Am Di One out

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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By 2:30 pm this afternoon racing fans are going to know the official line-up for the 99th running of the Jamaica Derby, sponsored again by the Wisynco group through their popular energy drink, BOOM.

Nominations for the Derby take place in the Racing Office at Caymanas Park today after which, at approximately 2:30 pm, the draw for post positions will be completed. The Derby is regarded as the premier race on the local calendar and is run for a total purse of $8 million over 12 furlongs (2,400 metres), making it the longest race available for competition in Jamaica. The race is set for competition on Saturday next, June 29.

I Am Di One, one of only two Triple Crown aspirants and one of the leading three-year-old contenders for this year's Derby, is out of the Blue Riband event, as confirmed by her trainer Anthony Nunes.

I Am Di One is not going to run in the Jamaica Derby on Saturday. We are going to keep her out of the Derby and we will more than likely go with four or maybe five runners, but she definitely will be out of the race,” Nunes informed on Saturday last.

Racing for only the second time in her career, I Am Di One achieved Classic success when she won the 1000 Guineas run over a mile (1,600m) on April 13, for three-year-old fillies only.

Then came another Classic event on her third start — the Jamaica Oaks (10 furlongs) — also against age group fillies on May 4, when I Am Di One faltered in the last furlong and a half (300m) and ended up in third place behind Princess Annie and Princess Ava.

The Adore The GoldIt Is I progeny stepped out of her age group for the first time on her fourth career start to face some hard-knocking rivals in a Non-Restricted Overnight Allowance event going over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m), on June 8.

I Am Di One won by 2 lengths ahead of stable companion Donate and Uncle Vinnie in a time of 1:58.3.

“It is something minor though, and having discussed it with the owners, we think that it is the best thing for her ( I Am Di One) moving forward. We really think she is a very talented filly and I don't think that the Derby will help her to where we eventually want to go with her.

“So we are taking the decision not to run her in the Derby, as we move towards maybe better things which are more suitable to her towards the back-end of the year,” explained Nunes.

The leading trainer also revealed in a telephone conversation on Sunday that another of his probabley starters, Big Bang, is not going to face 'Mr Starter' on Derby Day.

Despite the absence of I Am Di One and Big Bang, Nunes still has a strong presence in the Derby with Supreme Soul — now the only contender chasing Triple Crown glory — Tricky One, Earn Your Stripes, and Princess Ava.

Nunes then released the assignment of jockeys on his horses. “ Supreme Soul will be ridden by Shane Ellis; Earn Your Stripes – Linton Steadman; Princess Ava – Robert Halledeen and Tricky One, Anthony Thomas.

Of the others expected to be in the Derby line-up, it is likely that apprentice and leading rider Christopher Mamdeen is going to retain his seat on the Gary Subratie-trained Sentient, who is considered to be one of the leading lights to achieve Derby glory.

Regarding the two possible starters by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, Sir Ian Links and Princess Annie, jockey Phillip Parchment seems to be the approved rider on the latter while it is not yet known whether Sir Ian Links will actually start.


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