She's A Maneater a class act
SATURDAY's Boom Jamaica Derby will be a Battle of the Sexes with the top two fillies, 1000 Guineas winner SHE'S A MANEATER and Oaks heroine MARLENE MY LOVE, taking on the boys who passed the post first to fourth in the Lotto Classic Governor's Cup - HENRY THE SECOND, MARKET FORCE, FEARLESS SAMURAI and SOTOMAYOR.
In addition to chasing the $4.3m winner's share of the $8m purse, Wayne DaCosta's SHE'S A MANEATER and FEARLESS SAMURAI, the 2000 Guineas winner, have Triple Crown bids on the line in the 12-furlong event with uncertainty surrounding their ability to get the distance.
Neither DaCosta horse is bred to get 12 furlongs but have both won back-to-back races at a mile - against their peers in the Guineas followed by open allowance victories.
However, going two turns, more so 12 furlongs, give the horses, who on breeding, should stay out the trip, as good a chance as the Triple Crown aspirants.
Dwight Chen's 10-furlong Oaks winner, MARLENE MY LOVE, is a half-sister to MARK MY WORD, the 2010 Derby winner and three-time Superstakes champion. MARKET FORCE, awarded the 10-furlong Lotto Classic Governor's Cup in the stewards' room, at the expense of HENRY THE SECOND, is a half-brother to ERASMO, who himself won the Governor's Cup in 2011.
Another stayer is Ian Parsard's HENRY THE SECOND, sired by MIRACLE MAN, a two-time Superstakes winner and the only local-bred horse to have won a race on foreign soil, landing the 2006 Confraternity Classic in Puerto Rico.
There is no one horse in the race with pace to run the field into the ground and still stay out the distance. Therefore, class, mid-race pace, stamina and the all-important ingredient of jockeyship will determine the Battle of the Sexes in which the fillies hold the advantage on paper.
MARLENE MY LOVE's 2:08.3 with topweight 57.0 kilos in the April 29 Jamaica Oaks proved she has come on a ton since finishing fourth behind SHE'S A MANEATER in the 1000 Guineas. The colts and geldings laboured home in 2:09.3, a month later in the Governor's Cup - all carrying less weight, bar third-place FEARLESS SAMURAI, who had 57.0 kilos.
SHE'S A MANEATER has only lost once in eight starts, beating MARLENE MY LOVE into fourth in the 1000 Guineas, followed by an impressive victory over stubborn ANOTHER BULLET, even though missing the Oaks with injury.
The only question left to be asked of SHE'S A MANEATERT is stamina. Tactical speed should count for a lot, which she has in abundance. Her Thornbird Stakes victory, almost tailed off at the half-mile before powering through to win in 1:25.1 proved she can be rated and should get the distances, especially with a sex allowance and taking the shortest route around the circuit from post-position one.