Jamaica Gleaner / WITH inclement weather forecast to affect the entire island today, riding tactics for this afternoon’s $3.5m Burger King Superstakes will be crucial. More important, however, is which of the three fancied horses – SHE’S A MANEATER, BIGDADDYKOOL, and WILL IN CHARGE – will relish the expected underfoot conditions.
Since sand was added to the track, early May, speed horses such as SHE’S A MANEATER and WILL IN CHARGE have relished the natural hardening of the surface whenever it rains, caused by the quick run-off of water, which seeps through the beach sand in a jiffy.
Unlike the dirt track of another era, rain no longer renders the Caymanas surface deep and challenging for speedsters, which, back then, favoured the likes of strong, far-striding closers such as BIGDADDYKOOL.
Defending champion BIGDADDYKOOL still has an ace up his sleeve. He is the only tried, tested and proven, grade one horse in the eight-horse line-up. In addition, his only win in four starts this year was on a wet track, going 1820 metres – albeit before the surface was refurbished in May.
However, since setting the track alight with a torrid 1:05.3 for five and a half furlongs on the morning of October 24, things haven’t gone too well for BIGDADDYKOOL at exercise.
Reports are that he overreached six days later, injuring himself in a mile gallop and didn’t return to the track for another six days, last Sunday morning. He worked an easy 1:16.4, returned to canter Tuesday, but hasn’t been seen since.
On the contrary, since producing an eye-popping 1:24.3 for seven furlongs out of the mile chute on Sunday and getting the day-off on Monday, SHE’S A MANEATER has been cantering every morning, including yesterday, when she almost tore away with Dane Nelson.
Already 10lbs lighter than all her rivals, including WILL IN CHARGE, the only horse expected to trouble her on the lead, Triple Crown winner SHE’S A MANEATER looks to have the Superstakes in the bag.
Will a wet track bother her? It didn’t when she clocked 1:39.0 to win the one-mile 1000 Guineas in April, posting a faster time than her stablemate, FEARLESS SAMURAI, who won the 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings.
Not even trainer Wayne DaCosta’s supposed Superstakes jinx should stop SHE’S A MANEATER from putting icing on the Horse of the Year cake, a full month away from the $8m Diamond Mile, which should be easier pickingss for the classy filly.