Marlene My Love the choice but, only just over Market Force

On Wednesday, 13 horses along with their riders were nominated to run in the 12-furlong (2,400m) 97th running of the Boom Jamaica Derby.

That set the stage for just about two and a half minutes tomorrow, hearts will race, fingernails will be chewed on, heads will be scratched, hair will be pulled, and finally there will be shouts of joy and or shouts of agony, as the best three-year-old thoroughbreds face each other in this once in a lifetime encounter.

The team from the Complete Racing Guide offers an analysis of the 13 runners.

SHE'S A MANEATER — Has recovered well from a recent injury, as evidenced by her win over eight furlongs in Open Allowance on June 13. Came out with the star gallop on Sunday morning at exercise, confirming that she is indeed in good nick. There is little doubt that She's A Maneater is made up with a special racing DNA; she can lead, she can stay with the pack, and she can come from behind. A truly talented filly but there is a possible chink in her armour. She's A Maneater has never run longer than eight furlongs in her eight -race career, making her ability to stay questionable. Tomorrow we will know if She's A Maneater, who has never been beaten by a filly, can indeed go long. The fact that stable jockey and current champion Omar Walker has decided to ride She's A Maneater over Fearless Samurai is a boost to her Derby-winning credentials. Will have a telling say in the outcome of this Derby.

MARLENE MY LOVE — A truly outstanding winner of the Jamaica Oaks at the end of April. Marlene My Love has not raced since, and trainer Dwight Chen has taken his time in preparing Marlene My Love and based on morning track reports, she cannot be made any fitter. Marlene My Love's dam, Miss Chestnut, has already produced a Triple Crown winner. Just by the way she runs her races, Marlene My Love is absolutely sure of relishing the mile and a half of the Derby plus her time over 10-furlongs is five lengths superior to the leading colts and geldings. Fit, ready and a stayer, Marlene My Love is very difficult to oppose.

GREAT FAITH Great Faith will get the journey, but may not at this time be ready to tackle the principals. The Figure 8 is now on.

TWILIGHT DREAMS — Just broke his maiden on Saturday last and it might be too much of an ask to compete here.

SECRET TRAVELLER — Was never a winning factor throughout the 10-furlongs of the Lotto Classic run for the Governor's Cup and Secret Traveller is not expected to do much better here.

HENRY THE SECOND — Won the Lotto Classic but was then disqualified. That run on May 27 by Henry The Second, however, underlined his status as one of the leading three-year-olds as it came just after winning his first race following a long rest. Henry The Second has had some issues with injuries in the past, but now seems to be okay. Lightly raced with a lot of room for development and will stay, there is no doubt about that, but comes in against Market Force and Fearless Samurai worse off at the handicaps; then again that sometimes is not a serious matter among three-year-olds at this stage. This son of the great Miracle Man is a very live threat.

SUBBIE — May get the distance, but that is about it.

UNCLE VINNIE — Ran well in the Lotto Classic to earn fifth place and with many in the Derby line-up unsure of getting the distance, Uncle Vinnie can go up the ladder here, but without winning.

SOTOMAYOR — Can be classified as the unknown factor despite being the champion two-year-old of last year. The rough and tumble riding of Dane Nelson is going to suit Sotomayor, who is always far back in his races, usually doing his best business in the straight. Now with Nelson atop, expect Sotomayor to be earlier, but not actually testing the pace. The morning clockers are indicating that Sotomayor is looking better and better as Derby preparation got into gear. One thing for sure is that Sotomayor stays and that is a huge asset in any Derby.

FEARLESS SAMURAI — Has come on by leaps and bounds in 2017. Fearless Samurai, although allowing weight to rivals and still running a stellar race in the Lotto Classic, nonetheless had his stamina limitations exposed. Fearless Samurai seems better suited to distances up to a mile. Better off in the handicap in this one, but 12-furlongs appears to be out of his league. Fearless Samurai is blessed with a terrific turn of speed but seems to idle somewhat when in the lead. Has a chance, but will have to put every hoof right. Note the cheek pieces are off.

THORNHILL MISS – Will win at non-winners of two.

MARKET FORCE — Got the Lotto Classic in the stewards' room, yet no one can ever deny the quality of his performance, especially for a horse that raced only three-times before. Market Force confirmed in The Lotto Classic that he can stay and this factor, when combined with his class, concoct quite a potent mix. Market Force is a classy thoroughbred who has all the elements in his favour and he will be in top two at the end. Has worked quite well coming into the Derby and it is now simply a case of performing on the morrow.

AKASH – For sure Akash will win at the non-winners of three level.

BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER

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