Seeking My Dream, Big Daddy Kool top picks for horse of the year
Voting for the 2016 Horse of the Year will commence today as the 17-member committee entrusted to make the selection will be activated from January 14 to 21.
The Horse of the Year Committee comprises representatives of the press, CTL racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr, along with two senior officials of the racing office at Caymanas Park.
From all indications, they will choose between the two top horses of 2016 - BIGDADDYKOOL and SEEKING MY DREAM - both of whom won five races, among them four classified as grade one races.
The Anthony 'Baba' Nunes-trained BIGDADDYKOOL, owned by the Trinidadian Stephan Narinesingh, emerged the season's leading stakes winner with five wins from 11 starts and just over $11 million in stakes as a three-year-old last season.
The bay gelding by SORRENTINO out of BEWARE BABY not only won the prestigious Superstakes, but the St Leger, Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup and the Harry Jackson Memorial Cup over 2400 metres on December 31. In addition, he finished second in the very eventful Cal's Jamaica Derby and was also second to SEEKING MY DREAM in the $13.9 million Diamond Mile on December 10.
The Wayne DaCosta-trained SEEKING MY DREAM, who was Horse of the Year in 2015 by virtue of having won the Derby and inaugural Diamond Mile, won five races from eight starts and $10.2 million in stakes.
Owned by Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, the chestnut colt by SEEKING THE GLORY out of the 2008 Horse of the Year ALSAFRA turned in the performance of the season to beat BIGDADDYKOOL by five lengths in the Diamond Mile, equalling the stakes record time of 1:36.2 in the process. SEEKING MY DREAM also won the Eros Trophy, Legal Light Trophy and Prime Minister's Stakes, all grade one trophy races. However, he could only manage fifth as the hot favourite in the Gold Cup and third behind the disqualified FRANFIELD and BIGDADDYKOOL (awarded race) in the November 12 Burger King Superstakes.
According to Denzil Miller: "Both horses have strong claims and it should be one of the closest voting for Horse of the Year in recent years, which speaks volumes for the quality on display last year. It should be remembered that horses like Gold Cup winner BUZZ NIGHTMARE, FRANFIELD and the two-year-old filly SHE'S A MANEATER were also in the hunt up to the final weeks of the season."