KINGSTON, JAMAICA - The 2019 edition of the Supreme Ventures Limited and Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission-sponsored Diamond Mile is upon us and once again the public awaits another showdown involving all the best horses currently in training.
Last year’s winner, the Robert Pearson-trained Will In Charge is absent from tomorrow’s field of 16 due to ill health. Nevertheless, a highly competitive field of runners face Mr Starter in the richest race on offer in local racing.
The long-awaited clash between stablemates Stranger Danger and She’s A Maneater is well and truly on. Yet, in no way is the 2019 Diamond Mile limited to just these two thoroughbreds, as the precious local-bred three-year-old Toona Cilita is also primed to do battle.
An exhilarating contest is in the making.
SUMMER SUN: (3-y-o- ch c – Afleet Alex – A Love Theme) – Summer Sun is getting his mojo at precisely the right time, coming from way off the pace to win when last competing. Summer Sun is an unknown quantity at this time, who has worked his way to an outsider’s reckoning, and a possible place on the board. He has developed into quite a two-turn runner, who may find a mile just a tad short for his liking. Summer Sun is going to do his best running in the straight and may get by some tired horses.
PRINCESS ANNIE: (3-y-o b f – Northern Giant – Millenium Princess) – Has made it to the Diamond Mile and that’s about it for Princess Annie.
TOONA CILIATA: (3-y-o ch g – Soul Warrior – Red Gold) – Toona Ciliata seems to be the rising star among the three-year-olds at this time. By finishing second behind She’s A Maneater in the recent Superstakes, when he finally put the bogey of Supreme Soul behind him, Toona Ciliata demonstrated that he is on the rise and is ready for duty in the Diamond Mile. Going a mile, Toona Ciliata is likely to be more effective than running 10 furlongs, as he has the pace and the stamina to launch a successful bid in the last two furlongs. His jockey Dane Nelson, who has just returned from another successful stint in Canada, has enough power and skill to deliver the type of ride Toona Ciliata needs to be successful in the Diamond Mile, which is by far his stiffest test to date. No matter which way you take it, Toona Ciliata is going to have a say in the outcome of this race.
SUPREME SOUL: (3-y-o ch c - Soul Warrior – Beware Baby) – Supreme Soul is the 2019 winner of the Triple Crown series of races, which has forever sealed his place in local racing history. After winning the St Leger in July, Supreme Soul has raced twice at the top level and both times he has been completely out of sorts. It was later revealed that Supreme Soul bled in those two races, thereby accounting for his poor efforts. Since then, we have been assured by his trainer Anthony Nunes that the bleeding issue has passed, meaning we can look for a much-improved run from Supreme Soul. This is a talented and still-improving three-year-old, whose last two runs should be discarded, as he is going to run a much better race in the Diamond Mile. Supreme Soul is set to represent Jamaica in the upcoming Caribbean Classic in early December and if he is to perform up to scratch in that more competitive event, then he must run his shoes off come tomorrow. Supreme Soul races for the first time with the visors on.
UNCLE VINNIE: (5-y-o dkb h – Bridled Quest – Kathythetraina) – Has reached the zenith of his career by qualifying for the Diamond Mile. Uncle Vinnie’s finished seventh of seven in the October 6, Lasco- sponsored Superstakes (10 furlongs) making a win in the Diamond Mile a difficult task. As is always the case, the race must be run, therefore as a participant, Uncle Vinnie has a chance albeit a rather slim one.
FAYROUZ: (4-y-o ch f – Blue Pepsi Lodge – Princess Geeta) – Enters this year’s Diamond Mile after being rolled over by Stranger Danger and stablemate Supreme Soul. Going against the cream of the crop, Fayrouz is going to find it quite difficult.
SENTIENT: (3-y-o ch c – Strikewhileitshot – Lady Geetadeo) – Has come out on the receiving end during his three-year-old campaign but lost no marks for his efforts against mainly Supreme Soul and Toona Ciliata. In the 2019 Superstakes, Sentient showed his worth with a third-place finish just over five lengths behind She’s A Maneater and Toona Ciliata. There is no doubt that Sentient is of ability but his chances of mining diamond might be dependent on how he is ridden by the leading rider, apprentice Christopher Mamdeen. If Sentient is kept close to the leaders, he has enough in him to mount an effective challenge in the straight, and he is much more at home going a mile than the 10 furlongs of the Superstakes. Watch Sentient as one of two possible surprises in the Diamond Mile.
UNCLE FRANK: (5-y-o dkb g – Storm Craft – Dusty Milly) – By dint of hard work this rough and tough campaigner has made his way into the Diamond Mile. Uncle Frank was soundly thrashed by Stranger Danger two starts ago and in his last time at the races, Uncle Frank was at his determined best scoring over 6 ½ furlongs at the Open Allowance grade. While Uncle Frank is fit as hands can make him for his Diamond Mile appointment, the best he can hope for is an off-the-board finish.
STRANGER DANGER: (3-y-o dkb c – Baffum – Casual Trick) – Has the enviable record of being undefeated from his nine starts to date. Stranger Danger has so far conquered all before him and now meets his stable companion She’s A Maneater for the first time. This meeting of probably the two best horses in training is creating waves among punters with a mile firmly within the capabilities of this foreigner. Stranger Danger won the Invitational Mile on October 6 by seven lengths, defeating Uncle Frank and Fayrouz in a fast time of 1:36.3, with his engine turned off in the last furlong. A mile is probably the ideal trip for Stranger Danger, who should again be at his fighting best to deal with the talent of She’s A Maneater and Toona Ciliata. Stranger Danger has every possible chance of making it 10 from 10 in the Diamond Mile.
SHE’S A MANEATER: (5-y-o b m – Natural Selection – Ahwhofah) – The undisputed queen of local racing. She’s A Maneater has raced seven times in 2019 and has won six times, with her only defeat coming over six furlongs on April 20 from the hoofs of Another Bullet. Then there was a change of grooms in mid-year and since then, She’s A Maneater has been visibly and by way of performances a different horse, as she has now developed the tendency to be earlier in her races, instead of always coming from behind. In the October 6 Superstakes, She’s A Maneater was at her brilliant best as she put her six rivals in their place with a clocking of 2:05.2 for 10 furlongs, winning by almost four lengths. Going a mile tomorrow is even better for She’s A Maneater, especially with her pace and ability to finish strong. She’s A Maneater is going for her second win in the Diamond Mile, having done so in 2017. No racegoer will ever forget the tragedy of last year when the mare bolted from her starting stall and was declared a very late non-starter. She’s A Maneater has been exercising as if she intends to make right all her Diamond Mile wrongs.
ANOTHER BULLET: (7-y-o b h – Nasheet – Wisely Noted) – Has had a truly magnificent season, culminating with a profound victory in the Caribbean Sprint Championship (six furlongs) on October 5. Despite his years, Another Bullet has developed into a rugged and true A-1 horse who holds no quarter. A mile is not the ideal trip for Another Bullet, but his versatility knows no bounds even at this stage in his career. His trainer Patrick Lynch is currently enjoying a rich vein of form and as such Another Bullet has been painstakingly prepared for the Diamond Mile and should be given every respect.
HOUDINI’S MAGIC: (7-y-o dkb h – Performing Magic – Milestone) – Has finished third in the Diamond Mile before, but Houdini’s Magic’s year-to-date form has not been good. Houdini’s Magic will have to come up with the performance of a lifetime to win this one.
BRUCE WAYNE: (5-y-o b g – Nuclear Wayne – Xpress Card) – Did okay when finishing second behind Superluminal on October 21 but stepping up to this level is going to be demanding for Bruce Wayne.
DRUMMER BOY: (4-y-o b g – Natural Selection – Preach Preacher) – Has not raced in a while after getting a well-deserved rest following his many exertions in the first half of the season. Yet, Drummer Boy has been going quite nicely in the mornings as he seeks to earn a purse in the Diamond Mile.
SUPERLUMINAL: (7-y-o b h – Natural Selection – Thousand Hills) – Won in style on October 21 over seven-and-a-half furlongs at the Open Allowance level. Superluminal has never been able to catch the goings-on at Grade One and that trend should continue tomorrow.
DONTAE: (5-y-o b h - Fearless Vision - Eighteen Karat) - Late entry following the departure of Saratoga Sight. Dontae finished behind Superluminal on last and was many lengths adrift to Stranger Danger when the two recently met. That is not going to change tomorrow.