Mahogany, I Am Fred to lock horns in Gold Cup
THE $2.5-million Philip Feanny Gold Cup feature, the centrepiece of today’s nine-race schedule, is poised to feature one of Caymanas Park’s most thrilling rivalries in recent memory when Mahogany faces I Am Fred going seven furlongs (1,400m).
The well-decorated Mahogany, trained by Ian Parsard, has only raced three times this year. He is fresher than the Jason DaCosta-trained I Am Fred, who has raced six times so far.
Mahogany opened his 2023 racing season on February 4 when he easily won the Eileen Gliggott Memorial Cup over six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m). His subsequent two outings resulted in third-place results, both times falling short of American-bred I Am Fred.
I Am Fred triumphed on April 22 at eight furlongs (1,600m), defeating Calculus and Mahogany by a length and three quarters in 1:38.2. On July 29, over seven furlongs, they faced off again, and this time Runaway Algo prevailed over both competitors. I Am Fred outlasted third-place Mahogany by a margin of 5 3/4 lengths to take second.
The odds would favour I Am Fred in this case, but this race is a different situation. The Gold Cup is the premier handicap race on the local calendar, and it serves as the prelude to the opulent Mouttet Mile. The Mouttet Mile is set for December 2, and either runner’s chances of qualifying may depend on their performance in the Gold Cup.
Mahogany, who defeated Runaway Algo and I Am Fred to win the Gold Cup last year, has the lower earnings requirement of the two runners for the US$150,000 race. I Am Fred has earned $3,798,300, which appears to be safe for a position in the Mouttet Mile, whereas Mahogany has earned $1,114,7510 and has to win the Gold Cup to increase his earnings. Given that the Gold Cup winner would receive $1,365,000, Mahogany is coming hands down for this race.
The Sensational Slam–Mete-Orite offspring Mahogany has worked well coming into this race, having galloped seven furlongs in 1:26.4 on October 4. He then galloped 1:03.1 for five furlongs (1,000m) on October 10.
I Am Fred has also worked brilliantly coming into this race. Breaking out of the starting gates in a five-furlong straight spin on October 9, I Am Fred clocked 1:00.0 for the work with the first four furlongs (800m) done in 46.3.
It would be quite impossible to predict the victor of this race based on the preparation of the two racers. Mahogany, however, is granted the advantage based on methods and the desire to win, only because he needs the victory the most.
You need look no further than Perfect Brew or She’s My Destiny in the seven-horse field if neither Mahogany nor I Am Fred should succeed here. Ability, the winner of the Jamaica Derby; I’ve Got Magic; and Rojorn Di Pilot have little chance of winning this.