THE top three current, native-bred, three-year-old fillies — Thalita, Mamma Mia, and Bootylicous — will refresh their rivalry when they clash in the Betmakers Technology Group $3.75-million Jamaica 1000 Guineas at Caymanas Park today.
The Jamaica 1000 Guineas (for native-bred three-year-old fillies) will be run over one mile (1,600m) and kicks off the Classic series of races.
Thalita and Bootylicious had won their previous two encounters but Mamma Mia had to settle for a smaller share of the prize in both meetings.
Thalita came from behind runners to beat stablemate Mamma Mia in The Portmore on May 26 over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m), with favourite Bootylicious finishing off the board as the 1-2 choice.
Bootylicious won the Thornbird Stakes over seven furlongs (1,400m) on April 8, with Thalita finishing second and Mamma Mia third.
Today's fight, however, will be a different story since it is a Classic race and everything is at risk, with the possibility of a Triple Crown on the line. As a result, all three runners will charge out but only one can win, and that will be the better-prepared horse on the day.
The Futurity contest for native-bred three-year-old fillies is positioned as the eighth event on the nine-race card with a post time of 4:30 pm. First race is at noon.
Thalita (Soul Warrior – Luminous Trieste) ran the race of her life to win The Portmore by five lengths in a time of 1:34.2, confirming her status as the favourite for this event. Thalita will be at ease at this distance and could demonstrate that her Portmore victory was not a fluke. She is versatile enough to come from behind runners or prompt the pace as well, so whichever she chooses, Thalita is going to be hard to deny. Champion jockey Dane Dawkins rides for champion trainer Jason DaCosta.
Mamma Mia, bred by Soul Warrior – Princess Geeta, ran a brave race to finish second in The Portmore behind Thalita. The chestnut filly led for the majority of the race before giving way to Thalita in the final stages. With the distance increased, one would anticipate Mamma Mia to fall short once more but the speedster had instead shown tenacity, and hence another fighting effort is expected. Phillip Parchment remains in the irons.
Trained by newly licensed conditioner Peter-John Parsard, Bootylicious had arrived at The Portmore with lofty goals but the bay filly, who was giving away weights to her competitors, finished fifth in the event. Bootylicious set the pace with Mamma Mia before giving way in the stretch to snap her three-race winning streak. Bred by Key To Power – Keep The Faith, Bootylicious is more prepared for this Classic event, and with all runners sitting level at 57.0kgs (126 lb) she can retrieve lost ground. Reyan Lewis will ride.
Essential Quality and Brown Skin Girl, two of the other horses in the 12-horse line-up, might make an impression throughout the race.
Essential Quality made one move in a seven-and-a-half-furlong event on May 20 to release the maiden tag. Essential Quality demonstrated her ability to cover ground but repeating here is a difficult task against these runners. The Oral Hayden trainee should go home earning, nonetheless.
Brown Skin Girl, who is also trained by DaCosta, came charging home in the final strides to finish fourth in The Portmore. Brown Skin Girl is going to have a good time on this long journey, and another bold effort is expected from her.
The rest of the field is made up of Gahly Gahly Links, Bella Bella, All For Love, Natural Dancer, Acknowledgeme, Wayne Princess, and She's Myhedgefund.
Ones to watch:
Race 1) Contractor/AWesome Cat/Storming
Race 2) Prissie/Don Vincenzo/Amad Ali
Race 3) Daddy Jones/Iannai Links/Sir John
Race 4) Dodge This Link/Sensational Satin/Sir Kel
Race 5) March and Shoot/The Citadel/Real Boss
Race 6) Millinium Star/Sneaky Joe/Heroine
Race 7) I Am Fred/Calculus/King Arthur
Race 8) Thalita/Bootylicious/Mamma Mia
Race 9) Glittering Magnum/Glittering Star/MPRS Links