The Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Stakes and Trophy field looks very tough with a very deep and talented field. The first stakes for locally bred three-year- olds this year, will be ran off tomorrow in race 6 at 4:10 p.m., the second day of the Barbados Turf Club’s first racing season for 2017.
Four of the 11 animals entered have already won and it will be interesting to see if any of the maidens will hand in their winning certificate. The maiden that looks like the one to carry the threat to the four winners entered is Zip Code from the William Clarke stable. Zip Code has had three seconds in three lifetime starts, with his most recent when running second to Black Rock on Boxing Day 2016 in the Boxing Day Nursery Trophy. The Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Stakes will be going 1570 meters.
With Black Rock not being entered, this could make things a little easier for Zip Code. Zip Code is half brother to Don Anglesonny who won the Midsummer Classic 2005, Donportal Sonny who won the Breeders Stakes, and Leave It To Me who won the Barbados Derby in 2010. So this means big things are expected from Zip Code.
Horse number nine Celebrity Star, a full sister to 2016 Massy Derby winner Northern Star, comes off a second place to the imported Discreet Lass on Boxing Day in the Juvenile Open Trophy. The classy filly is one of the seven maidens in the field that look like they could go into winners’ circle for the first time. In her four starts to date she has had two seconds, one third and one fourth place. The Victor Cheeseman filly will have top rider Jalon Samuel aboard, taking over from Antonio Bishop who rode her to second on Boxing Day.
Vencedor,trained by Richard Deane, had placed second last time out hitting the board for the first time in three lifetime starts. The daughter of 2005 Sandy Lane Gold Cup winner Feet On Flames, placed second last race day going Saturday’s trip to The Robert Peirce colt D’ Girlz Dem Sugar. She looks like one of the seven that can be led into winner’s circle for the first time.
Of the winners, the Gay Smith-owned Butterfly could more than likely start as favourite among punters. She placed third in her first start to Black Rock and Zip Code last November 19, in a race which many fans thought she should have won but was blocked for racing room when jockey Antonio Bishop tried to go between horses. However Butterfly won her very next start on December 17, defeating Zip Code in the process. Butterfly has won once from two starts.
The speedy Watch That Birdie, a winner in her first start on July 23 in the Bayley’s Plantation Condition Race, has not been in winner’s row since but can’t be ignored. She returned to racing on November 19, placing second to Powerful in the Consolidated Finance Juvenile Stakes And Trophy, going the sprint trip of 1,100 meters. Watch That Birdie had then placed third in her last start going 1,570 meters for the first time. She was caught in the late stages by Black Rock and Zip Code during the Boxing Day Nursery Trophy race. In her last two starts Watch That Birdie had adopted strange habits by going very wide in the home stretch and losing ground. Four-time champion trainer Victor Cheeseman will be looking to correct this problem.
The Roger Parravicino-trained Burbon Street has had two wins from five starts to date. The son of Kit Fisto had won his second start on August 6 in the Massy United Insurance Staff Trophy over Celebrity Star, then returned on September 3 scoring in the Sales Graduates Futurity Stakes over Zip Code. Burbon Street ran last in his most recent start but can’t be left out. He also had a last place finish in his first start.
The speedy Fleurette, a winner of two of her five starts had only ran unplaced once, that being fifth on Boxing Day, testing the 1,570 meters trip for the first time. Javalier, Oberoi, Fire Queen and Amber Rose make up the rest of the field. The colts will carry 123 pounds and fillies 118. There are two colts entered –– Zip Code and Burbon Street.
The Palm Beach Condominium Handicap going the sprint trip of five and a half furlongs for the top class animals 140 and under, should create fireworks. Looking like one of the best sprint line-ups in years, the race is one that can’t be missed. Horse number one Lucky Adventure, will be looking for sweet revenge after being caught on the line by Daunting David in his last sprint race on December 3 in the Board Of Directors Handicap. In that race the son of 2010 Preakness winner Looking At Lucky, had 128 pounds and will be dropping down to 113 pounds come Saturday and punters should take note.
The nine-horse field will see the return of 2013 Derby winner Knight Rider. He has not raced for 574 days and last won on June 20, 2015 going 11 furlongs in the Saleh And Khatija Mohammad Memorial Trophy.
Horse number nine Sirius Black will also be making a return to races. Having not raced since September 3, where he finished fourth to Nekitta in the Sale Graduates’ Champion Stakes. He had previously won theHarmony General Insurance Breeders Sprint on August 20, 2016, with 132 pounds. Tomorrow Sirius Black will pack the top weight of 130 pounds.
Post time for the eight-race card is 1:30 p.m. My Selection for the Michael Parravicino feature race is Watch That Birdie, Zip Code, Celebrity Star and Fleurette.