Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2013 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 11, 2013
The season is almost halfway and it is a good
time to assess the progress of the racing fare in
It is hard to argue that we have seen much
progress during the first half of the year from an
It would be equally hard to deny that, notwith-
standing the demise of the late champion, Bruceon-
theloose, we do have some exciting developments
from the perspective of the horses currently com-
Let us start with the West Indian bred three year
olds. For the second time in the last five years, we
are on the cusp of having just our third official
Triple Crown winner in Anthony Wight s War of
This Jamaican bred gelding has won the first two
legs of the Triple Crown in workmanlike style and
seems poised for the third and most prestigious leg,
the Trinidad Derby to be run off on September 24.
In the first two legs, he has had just his two
stable companions, Prince Zeshan and Pot of Gold
to beat, and while he has beaten them on both
occasions, he has not exactly increased his supe-
riority over them from one race to the other. One
just has a sneaky feeling that there could be any
number of challengers to arise over the next four
Heading the list of possibilities is another John
O Brien trained potential superstar in Headline
News. This Ruthven Smith owned and bred colt
inflicted a heavy defeat on War of Words in his
lone juvenile start but has been plagued with injury.
Injury may prevent him from lining up in the
Derby but there are probably just two trainers in
this country that can ready a horse for a Derby off
a long layoff and with no prep race and John O Brien
is certainly one of them.
The second such trainer is Glenn Mendez and
he may have to work a similar feat with another
potential sleeper for the Derby in Errol Stables
Archangel. This chesnut son of Maraahel was an
impressive 16-length winner of his second start
but has also been sidelined with a setback since
As a half-brother to the last horse to attempt
the Triple Crown, Touch d Road, this colt has the
bloodlines to be a danger but he has to make it to
the race. Injury also seems to have plagued Harold
Chadee s Secret Circle and Run Ron. If both can
be freshened up, they could also be dangerous.
Making up for lost time is Urban Knight, trained
for the Mohali Stables (who also own Prince Zeshan)
by Glenn Mendez.
This Jamaican bred colt is a half-brother to 2012
Derby winner Free Passage and was a breath-taking
and wide margin winner of a 1350 maiden on Mid-
summer Classic day
The final comment I would like to make on the
Classic scene is the unknown factor posed by the
possible importation of rival Jamaican classic colts.
Perfect Neighbour won the Jamaican Derby on June
15 after placed efforts in the previous classics.
It is not clear if he will be making the trip. Willie
Goldsmith had been the obvious leader of his gen-
eration but lost his unbeaten record two starts back
and was well beaten in the Derby. Bigmanintown
has strong Trinidad connections in owner Baskaran
Bassawh and he was fourth in the Derby after solid
efforts in the previous classics.
If he is brought to Trinidad, the excitement factor
for the Trinidad Derby will be taken up several
Switching to the importeds, we have a number
of exciting new runners.
Top of the class is Raroma Stables Crime of Pas-
sion who ran his imported and older rivals ragged
in the Santa Rosa Dash. This speedball is going to
liven up the track.
Star Entertainer, owned by Merlin Samlalsingh
also looks one for the highest class and it will be
interesting to see how these two fare when they
lock horns later this month.
The older sprinters are not done with. Errol Sta-
bles Signal Alert ran a much better race in the
Dash than most turfites may have realized consid-
ering it was his first start since December 1, 2012
and he was giving the younger horse 7 kgs.
He was also three lengths clear of the race fit
pair of Gabby s Gold and Sacred Trust who were
both also receiving 1.5 kgs.
Signal Alert subsequently returned on June 29 to
equal the 1150 metres track record while toting 60
kgs and beating his rivals by upwards of two lengths.
The future for the sprinting division is going to
be very exciting between these five horses. Gabby s
Gold also has a hand to play in the distance races
for the top class.
Readbetweendlines returned on June 29 to run
a staying on second to stablemate Signal Alert and
send out his own warning for the longer distance
This division looks wide open at the moment with
no obvious star act following the unpalatable demise
of the 2012 Gold Cup winner, Mobthewarrior.
With no star around in this division, it will be
interesting to see if any owners invest in bringing
in talent to take advantage of the opportunity. If
no one does, we should be in for some exciting
War of Words can win triple crown
Andre E Baptiste
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