Horse Racing

Corazon, Earn Your Stripes set to blaze trail in Guineas Trails

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, March 16, 2019

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THE build-up to the native-bred three-year-old Classic races continues in earnest, as the Anthony Nunes' pair of Corazon and Earn Your Stripes are set to blaze the trail in their respective Guineas Trial races at Caymanas Park today.

Corazon, top two year-old filly last season, lines up against eight rivals in the 28th running of the Thornbird Stakes (fillies), while Earn Your Stripes, one of the top contenders for the 2000 Guineas, takes on five opponents in the 28th running of the Prince Consort Stakes (colts and geldings).

Both Graded Stakes events, sponsored by Front Runner, are the final major prep races before the Classics get under way next month and will venture over seven furlongs (1,400m) for purses of $1.3 million each.

The Thornbird Stakes, the ninth event on the 12-race card, is set to go to post at 4:00 pm, while the Prince Consort Stakes, which is positioned as the 11th event, has a post time of 5:10 pm. First race gallops off at 11:30 am.

Corazon has four wins from five career starts with her only defeat coming in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes last December where she finished in fourth position behind Run Thatcher Run, and stablemates Supreme Soul and Earn Your Stripes at a mile.

Corazon has had one outing this season and that was on January 23 over six furlongs (1,200m), facing older horses for the first time. The bay filly slammed stable companion She's Symbolic by 6 lengths in a blistering time of 1:12.4 minutes. Based on that run only, losing does not seem to be an option for Corazon here, especially with the Nunes camp having all guns blazing.

The horse that Corazon should keep an eye on is the Gary Subratie-trained Causal Drink. Casual Drink was hampered by an injury, causing her to miss competitive racing for about five months. She then returned for her first run in 2019 on February 23 over six furlongs, and finished third behind Lady Blue and stable companion Princess Lauren in the Hotline Stakes.

Truth be told, Casual Drink stumbled when the gates opened but was seen making some progress in the final furlong. She will relish this extended trip and, if she is not hindered, Casual Drink can be the spoiler in this year's Thornbird Stakes.

Wayne DaCosta's Princess Annie and Lady Blue are expected to run well in this race. Princess Annie was one-paced when finishing in fourth place in the Hotline Stakes by 8 lengths. However, she was coming off a four-month break, and with that run under her girth Princess Annie should now get into the thick of things when this event is being decided.

Lady Blue was very impressive in victory when winning the Hotline Stakes, her only run for the season. She led from start to finish in a dominating, 7 -length win in 1:13.3 minutes. That effort, for sure, is going to enhance the chances of Lady Blue in the Thornbird Stakes. In her five races to date Lady Blue has been beaten by Corazon three times, and turning the tables is unlikely here.

The Prince Consort Stakes also looks to be an easy one for Earn Your Stripes. The chestnut colt has two wins from four starts, with defeat both times coming at the expence of the top juvenile of last year – Run Thatcher Run.

After finishing only two lengths behind Run Thatcher Run and Supreme Soul in last year's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes (one mile), Earn Your Stripes returned to the races on February 9 and gave a scintillating performance going a mile, winning by nine lengths and clocking a fast 1:39.3 minutes — the fastest mile done by any three-year-old this season so far. Earn Your Stripes looks like an easy winner of the Prince Consort, having won at this distance before in a good 1:25.3 minutes when beating Sentient by 11 lengths on December 15 of last year.

Stable companion Toona Ciliata looks likely to be the exacta horse here. Toona Ciliata, a highly thought-of chestnut gelding, finished just under a length behind Father Patrick in the Sir Howard Stakes over six furlongs on February 3. Toona Ciliata, who had missed the break, was gaining on Father Patrick in the final stages of the race, and with the Prince Consort, a furlong longer his chances of winning are better — though he has to face the wrath of his stable companion Earn Your Stripes.

Father Patrick enters this race with two wins from two starts. He won on debut on January 12 over five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m) in 1:06.2 minutes and then in the Sir Howard Stakes in 1:12.0 minutes. In the Sir Howard, Father Patrick seemed to have struggled a bit in the closing stages of the race and will have to improve a lot from that effort if he is to split Earn Your Stripes and Toona Ciliata in this one.

Ones to watch

Race 1) Yaya's Dream/Dee Danger/Superbolt

Race 2) Prince Sammo/Papa Albert/Lady Jaela

Race 3) Pizarro/Milagro/Lady Carmen

Race 4) Ray Star/Let It snow/Reasons

Race 5) Ballon d'Or/Meet Justin/Donas La Paz

Race 6) Secret Slew/Alexia's Star/Flying Bullet

Race 7) Mamdam Secretary/Axle Rod/Talented Tony K

Race 8) First Selection/Boss Izzy/Lady Budget

Race 9) Corazon/Casual Drink/Lady Blue

Race 10) Ras Emanual/Zephyr/My Sister

Race 11) Earn Your Stripes/Toona Ciliata/Father Patrick

Race12) King Tavari/Raw Liquid/Inspired Miracle

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