Reigning champion jockey Dane Nelson, who has been riding successfully at Assiniboia Downs in Canada for the past four months, returns to the saddle at Caymanas Park today and should win the opening race over 1200 metres (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) aboard down-in-class SHADE OF BEAUTY.The Patrick Lynch-trained five-year-old mare showed little behind ITALIANO over this trip on a $450,000 tag last Sunday but has won three races so far this season, and on the strength of her good third to FORCE DE JOUR over 1100 metres on August 29, gets the nod over BELIEVE and AWESOME CODE in a field of seven.First-time runners ZUGULU, under leading jockey Shane Ellis, and the Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS (Robert Halledeen up) have both looked well forward at exercise and should fight out the finish of the second race over 1100 metres for native-bred two-year-olds.It should be close based on their exercise reports, but preference is for A THOUSAND STARS, a bay filly by Storm Craft out of the Natural Selection mare Heart of Gold. The Richard Azan-trained ZUGULU is a bay colt by Hold Me Back out of Candy Girl, who was declared to run in the first race won by Blue Dixie on Sunday but was a late scratch.VALENTINE BOY, who showed good speed behind MEL AGAIN over 1200 metres some weeks ago, looks the best of a moderate lot of maiden five-year-olds and up in the third race over 1100 metres. Trained by Roy Matthews, VALENTINE BOY (Shamaree Muir up) is steadily improving and can put away WESTERN FAITH and TIZ A CAT in an eight-horse field.DEMOLITION BOY, with Ellis riding for trainer Welsh Soutar, is preferred to the lightly-raced but improving GOLD MEMBER and GANJA MAN in the fourth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds. DEMOLITION BOY is well drawn at post position 11 and seems programmed to take this event.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by STAN ROY (Ellis up) and the well-prepared 3-y-o filly JESSE’S FAVORITE, with veteran jockey Ian Spence riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. Their respective dangers are MISS ADDI and KING WITHIN.EARLY SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) SHADE OF BEAUTY/ BELIEVE(2) A THOUSAND STARS/ ZUGULU(3) VALENTINE BOY/ WESTERN FAITH(4) DEMOLITION BOY/ GOLD MEMBER(5) STAN ROY/MISS ADDI(6) JESSE’S FAVORITE- O.C.
The fourth running of the O&S Tack Room Trophy will be the feature event at Caymanas Park on Saturday. A restricted stakes event for three-year-olds and up, the 1300 metres race will carry a total purse of $868,000 (inclusive of $100,000 from the sponsor). Secondary feature on the race card will be the Ruel Rhoden Memorial Trophy for maiden two-year-olds. This race will carry a purse of $800,000. O&S Tack Room and Supplies’ sponsorship for the raceday is expected to top $1 million. The sum includes their contribution to purses, as well as gift presentations of products and equipment being awarded to the winning owner, trainer, jockey and groom of each race. Lucky fans could win a number of giveaways on Saturday. They include a 40′ television, smart tablets and phones. A special scholarship (valued at $30,000 for books and supplies) will also be awarded to the child of a groom who has received exemplary grades over the past school year. Shauna Kay Hinds of O&S Tack Room said the scholarship is primarily to assist the parents, as well as to encourage the children of Caymanas Park employees to excel.