Blue Vinyl set for Derby win, Triple Crown glory
Blue Vinyls

Horse racing fans near and far, whether serious or neophyte, will be heading to the racetrack, the off-track betting parlours, or will be seated comfortably in their living rooms glued to the television sets as Blue Vinyl seeks his place in the record books when he takes on nine rivals in the 102nd staging of the $7.5-million Jamaica Derby, the final jewel in the Triple Crown series of races at Caymanas Park today.

Bred by Bern Identity out of the Haynesfield mare Bluefield, Blue Vinyl, who has already tasted success in the 2000 Guineas and the Jamaica St Leger, hunts the most valued prize in local horse racing history – Triple Crown glory – in the 12-furlong (2,400m) blue-riband event.

If Blue Vinyl achieves the feat, it will make him the 13th winner of the Triple Crown in Caymanas Park's 63-year history. The Triple Crown series of races are confined to three-year-olds and comprises the 1000 (fillies only), 2000 Guineas (colts and geldings), Jamaica St Leger, and the Jamaica Derby.

The horses who have done it before are Royal Dad in 1981; Monday Morning in 1987; Liu Chie Poo in 1988; The Viceroy in 1989; Milligram in 1992; War Zone in 1996; I'msatisfied in 2000; Simply Magic (filly) in 2002; Alsafra (filly) in 2008; Mark My Word in 2010; She's A Maneater (filly) in 2017; and Supreme Soul in 2019.

Atomicas

Jockey Raddesh Roman will once again be on board Blue Vinyl for breeder Ian Parsard, owner MNM Racing Stables and trainer Patrick "Wacky" Lynch. Blue Vinyl has so far won four races –three consecutively – from nine starts, with earnings of $7,161,200.

Trainer Gary Subratie will saddle the main threat to Blue Vinyl in the chestnut filly Atomica, to be ridden by Dane Dawkins. Atomica went down by 4 ¼ lengths to Blue Vinyl going 10 furlongs (2,000m) in the Jamaica St Leger and even with the distance increased here, the talented filly has looked lively in her preparation gallops, indicating that she has no intentions of being bridesmaid again. Atomica has stablemate D Head Cornerstone in the line-up to make sure everything goes to plan.

Other entries of considerable note are bay colt Morimoto, conditioned by champion trainer Anthony "Baba" Nunes, and the Parsard-trained bay gelding Brinks.

The Jamaica Derby, a Grade One Futurity race for native-bred three-year-olds, is positioned as the ninth event on the 11-race card with a post time of 4:55 pm. First race is at noon.

The Derby distance of 12 furlongs will suit Blue Vinyl and, as such, he is going to be very hard to deny. Blue Vinyl has been steadily prepared for this engagement by his trainer, with the order of the day being a recent 10-furlong canter on July 28. In that workout, he galloped eight furlongs (1,600m) in a flat 1:44.0, completing the last seven furlongs (1,400m) in 1:30.3.

Atomica, who won the 1000 Guineas Classic, is no doubt out to right the wrongs of her Jamaica St Leger defeat to Blue Vinyl. Then, Atomica had a rough passage for the first two furlongs of the race, before picking up the lead down the backstretch. When Blue Vinyl challenged her approaching the distance, Atomica had no answers, but did well to finish second. There is no doubt that Atomica will get the Derby distance and a trouble-free trip on this occasion could see her denying Blue Vinyl Triple Crown glory.

After his fifth-place finish in the recent Jamaica St Leger run over 10 furlongs (2,000m), Morimoto returned on July 16 with an eye-catching win at nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) by a length and half ahead in a time of 2:00.0. Morimoto is going to run well as the distance is one which he will enjoy.

Brinks finished second in the 2000 Guineas and third in the Jamaica St Leger, both defeats coming at the hoofs of Blue Vinyl. With that one still present, Brinks faces no easier task here, especially going longer. However, it should be noted that Brinks held his gallop well in the St Leger, leading for most of the way before being collared by the top two and he is sure to attempt another bold bid.

Meanwhile, three horses – Gresford Smith's Monsieur Blue, Sonny T and Chippy conditioned by Spencer Chung and Steven Todd's Prince Sanjay, will be racing in the Classics for the first time this season.

Monsieur Blue released the maiden tag when travelling one mile on July 23. Then, Monsieur Blue won easily by 7 ¾ lengths in a time of 1:43.2. That victory cannot be compared with the seasoned runners here, but the manner of victory by Monsieur Blue is a clear indication that he is on the improve and will not be disgraced among the best on offer.

Sonny T and Chippy is a late bloomer who shows the tendency of liking it long. Sonny T and Chippy is developing at the right time and may surprise. He won a maiden race over nine-and-a-half furlongs (1,900m) by two lengths in a time of 2:07.3 on July 9.

Prince Sanjay's performances to date indicate that 12 furlongs will not be an issue, thereby making an earning position quite possible. All three trainers pointed out that their charges are in good stead ahead of their first major assignment as they expressed optimism about their earning prospects the least.

The rest of the Derby field is completed by Rainsville and Rum Puncher, both trained by hall of famer Richard Azan.

Ones to watch

Race 1) Sensational Ending/Buff Bay/Aphelios

Race 2) Big Argument/King Antholew/Legal Opportunity

Race 3) Regal and Royal/Khal Alexis/Love Craft

Race 4) Make Up Artist/Sparkle Diamond/Artesia

Race 5) Ha Gow Siu Mei/One Like It/Dujour

Race 6) Nez Perce/Thunderstrike/Diligent

Race 7) Manaco/GT Boy/Secret Emperor

Race 8) Papito/Wifey Sez So/Queen Deftiny

Race 9) Blue Vinyl/Atomica/Morimoto

Race 10) Perfect Brew/Josh/Real Boss

BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

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