Shesamaneater, Bigdaddykool to square off in Diamond Mile
THOUGH it's touted as the race of the year, a rematch between Superstakes winner SHE'S A MANEATER and runner-up BIGDADDYKOOL, Saturday's Supreme Ventures Limited Diamond Mile is really a question of why should the Triple Crown-winning filly lose at the distance, not to mention handicaps.
The Superstakes, really, was BIGDADDYKOOL's best chance to beat SHE'S A MANEATER. She was facing grade one for the first time, having gone two turns only twice, clocking an innocuous 2:08.2 for 10 furlongs whereas her older and more experienced foe entered the ring as the country's most consistent 2:06.0 horse.
Her only real advantage, on paper, was the 10lb she was receiving from BIGDADDYKOOL, which, by the way, is not much different in the Diamond Mile, only a pound less, leading right back to the question of why should she lose with the distance now two furlongs shorter.
BIGDADDYKOOL's connections are probably still huffing and puffing about his misfortune at the half-mile in the Superstakes, bumped badly by that rogue, UNCLE TAF, who, to everybody's relief will instead line-up in the day's overnight allowance.
However, BIGDADDYKOOL's enemy this time around will be his lack of early pace going a mile, which, for really classy horses such as two-time winner SEEKING MY DREAM and now, his stablemate, SHE'S A MANEATER, is almost a sprint race.
Sprint and BIGDADDYKOOL don't belong in the same sentence. In finishing second behind SEEKING MY DREAM, beaten by five-and-a-half lengths, in last year's race, carrying 53.0 kilos, he barely got there ahead of stablemate HOUDINI'S MAGIC (55.0), who, it should be noted, afterwards spanked him right and proper at seven furlongs in July's Eros Trophy - albeit running 14lb lighter.
Now burdened with 57.0 kilos, BIGDADDYKOOL allows faces SHE'S A MANEATER almost 10lb, a horse who spun off 1:24.3 for seven furlongs at exercise, six days before the Superstakes.
Truth be told, the entire field is at her mercy, handicaps considered. The sprinters are heavy, so too the middle-distance horses such as HOUDINI'S MAGIC, WILL IN CHARGE, CHOO CHOO BLUE and her friend, ANOTHER BULLET, even poor LOTTERY TICKET.
Dane Nelson, it is said, will make weight, 53.0 kilos, though unable to catch 54.0 after on Superstakes Day. He rode LOOSE CANNON at 54.5 before calling it a day, sick, right after losing in a driving finish.
DaCosta is known to be a stickler for weight, telling the racing office exactly what's on his mind whenever the handicaps are against him.
It will be interesting to see whether the champion trainer will tolerate any overweight for a shot at the Diamond Mile's $6.7m winner's purse with Anthony Nunes, BIGDADDYKOOL's trainer, breathing down his neck in the trainers' championship, a mere $2.145m away.