Banadura Launches Hot Line Stakes With Convincing Run

Banadura - Robert Halledeen
Banadura - Robert Halledeen

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Following an underwhelming performance in the Jamaica Two-Year-old Stakes on December 26, 2023, where Banadura placed eighth, trailing by more than 30 lengths, and a lackluster seasonal debut on February 24, the Jason DaCosta-trained thoroughbred made a resounding comeback on Saturday, March 24, 2024.

Banadura dominated the competition in the 30th edition of the Hotline Stakes.

The Hotline Stakes serves as a crucial preparatory race within the Road to the Triple Crown series, targeting native-bred three-year-old fillies, and spans six furlongs.

Banadura (by Casual Trick, out of Esperanza), owned by Milad Azan and ridden by Robert Halledeen, clinched a three-length victory, clocking a time of 1:15.3 (23.2 x 48.0).

She triumphed over Cryptogirl (Omar Walker) and Comehometome (Reyan Lewis), sending a decisive message about her potential impact in the upcoming Classic series, particularly the fillies' events — the Jamaica 1000 Guineas and Jamaica Oaks.

Azan expressed confidence that Banadura will maintain strong performances in the preparatory races leading to the Classics, including the Thornbird Stakes (7 furlongs) and The Portmore (7 ½ furlongs). "I am so elated. The performance from Banadura was really good and I am happy," Azan said.

Azan continued, emphasizing the quality of their team: "I think, I have a fantastic trainer and Banadura is an excellent horse. I think we have good hope for her."

He also reflected on the previous setback: "She wasn’t ready for that long distance where she finished down the track in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes race last year. The trainer had said they are working on it which the rest made up for everything here," he explained.

During the Hot Line Stakes, Banadura took an early lead, but Halledeen strategically dialed back the filly’s pace, yielding the front to Cryptogirl at the five-furlong mark. Banadura then stalked the leader around the half-mile turn and reclaimed the lead after making the turn for home.

With strategic changes in hold and several uses of the whip, Halledeen coaxed Banadura to widen the gap and ultimately seal the win with authority.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *