Atomica seeks revenge in Ian Levy Cup feature
After the calamity in the recent ultra-rich Mouttet Mile (invitational), the reigning Horse of the Year Atomica is expected to make a rapid turnaround in today’s fourth running of the $4-million Ian Levy Cup (Gr1) at Caymanas Park.
Atomica entered the US$150,000 Mouttet Mile on December 2, 2023 on the heels of five consecutive victories and was scheduled to compete over one mile (1,600m). However, after encountering traffic issues in the opening half of the race, the chestnut mare displaced her rider Dane Dawkins when handling the half-mile (800m) curve.
This reinforces the long-held belief that Atomica struggles in huge fields among top racers, as was the case in last year’s Mouttet Mile, where she finished 13th as the 4-5 favourite in a field of 16. Atomica should enjoy this race more because she is competing against fewer contenders in a field of five.
With great planning and no need to fight for the lead with speedball Mamma Mia, Atomica can easily trail the leaders before making a move in the turn.
The Graded Stakes contest for three-year-olds and upward going eighth-and-a-half furlongs (1,700m) is positioned as the seventh event on the 10-race programme with a post time of 3:10 pm. First race is at 11:30 am.
With the exception of her Mouttet Mile mishap, the Gary Subratie trainee was nothing short of magnificent last season, winning five races from eight starts and earning $6,346,650. This puts her fourth on the list of best earners, trailing only Mouttet Mile winner Rough Entry ($12,500,000), Jamaica Derby winner Ability ($10,029,250), and 1000 Guineas and Jamaica Oaks heroine Mamma Mia ($7,494,350).
Atomica‘s most noticeable win last year was in the Jamaica Cup over nine and a half furlongs (1,900m) on November 11. The Oakridge Farm-owned Atomica made one move to win the Grade One event by 3 ½ in time of 2:03.0.
Atomica, a five-year-old chestnut mare bred by Nuclear Wayne out of the Reparations mare Honkeytonkville, will be once again ridden by Dane Dawkins.
Because there is no assurance in horse racing, the races must be run. If Atomica runs another clinker, stablemates Mamma Mia, and Is That A Fact, and Perfect Brew could seize the opportunity and win the season’s first important Grade One event.
Mamma Mia ran remarkably well in the Mouttet Mile, placing third by seven lengths behind Rough Entry and beating both Atomica and Perfect Brew. Mamma Mia set a scorching pace and maintained a continuous gallop when Rough Entry and Ability filled the first two spaces. Among her age group adversaries, Mamma Mia has won at lengthier distances (10 furlongs). She can run the Ian Levy distance, but she is substantially heavier than Atomica and Perfect Brew. Nonetheless, Mamma Mia is a legitimate contender.
Is That A Fact finished fourth in the Mouttet Mile on December 2, 7 ½ lengths behind Rough Entry, Ability, and Mamma Mia. If Mamma Mia and Atomica establish a fast pace, Is That A Fact can stalk and wait before making his move in the stretch. Keep an eye out for this one.
Perfect Brew emerged as one of the season’s bright spots in 2023. As a run-on sprinter, 8 ½ furlongs may be too far for him. Perfect Brew might still make an impact with his regular racing strategy of staying off the pace and finishing hard.
Sistren Treasure, an American-bred, is the other horse in the field, and she is really here to make up numbers so that her stablemate Atomica can participate in the event.
Ones to watch
Race 1) Kingswood/Traditional Boy/Silent Cat
Race 2) Sparkles/Ertugrul/Atomic Energy
Race 3) Playfair/First Offense/Military Machine
Race 4) Sudden Flight/Basilicus/Stickydon
Race 5) Boss Izzy/Contrctor/Breaking Storm
Race 6) D Head Cornerstone/Sunset Silhoutte/Neo Star
Race 7) Atomica/Mamma Mia/Perfect Brew
Race 8) Volatility/Uncaptured Empress/From Sheer To Ben
Race 9) Biblical Legend/Master of Hall/JamalJames
Race 10) Eazy Peazy/Cookie Day N Night/Slam Dunk