Melrose Stables will be looking to win their first stakes race for 2017 Saturday with their leading three-year-old Oberoi.
The Harmony General Insurance Breeders Stakes going 1800 meters will be a prep race for the second jewel of the Barbados Triple Crown the Midsummer Classic which will run off on June 24. Obeori is coming off a second place finish to star filly Fleurette in the Barbados Guineas on April 17. Incidentally, Oberoi’s dam Leave It To Me had run second in the 2010 Barbados Guineas to stablemate Amanyara and then went on to win the other two legs of the Barbados Triple Crown, the Midsummer Classic and the Barbados Derby.
The Robert Peirce Trained Oberoi has drawn gate 7 and will take 124 pounds as all colts and geldings will. Jockey Reshawn Latchman, back from the USA, will be reunited with his mount.
Horse number 3, D Girlz Dem Sugar, owned by Steve and Allan Madoo and trained by Robert Peirce is coming off three third place finishes in his last three starts and could be a major threat to stable mate Obeori now having a step-up in distance. Star jockey Jalon Samuel will be aboard once again.
Leading three-year old filly Fleurette has not taken entry, as connections are more concentrating on the second leg of the Triple Crown. But her stable mate Black Rock, the champion juvenile of last year, will be looking for his first victory of 2017. The Luther and Suzanne Miller-owned Black Rock had placed second to Oberoi in the George Corbin Memorial Handicap on March 18, then returning to place fourth in the Barbados Guineas to stable mate Fleurette. Black Rock’s last victory came on Boxing Day 2016 on soft ground and many race fans think this could be his strong point if the ground is soft for the Harmony General Breeders. 2016 champion jockey Rasheed Hughes will have the ride on the 2016 champion two-year-old of last year.
The William Clarke-trained Zip Code will be making a return to races after being off for 133 days. Having four seconds from his four starts to date the gelding can’t be ignored. Zip Code has some interesting pedigree being out of the dam Signorina, that had also produced 2010 Derby winning filly Leave It To Me. Leave It To Me is the dam of classic contender Obeori. Signoria’s dam Noble Horse produced 1994 Barbados Derby winner Zarmella. Zarmella is the dam of 1998 Derby winner Galileo. Zip Code’s sire Zwick had sired the 2009 Triple Crown champion Arutalkintome. With this top class breeding, big things are expected of Zip Code. The 2016 champion apprentice Affrie Ward will ride Zip Code.
Zip Code’s stable mate Rockley is the only animal in the field to score a win in his last start. Rockley won on April 28 Heroes Day going 1570 meters in the Right Excellent Charles Duncan O’Neal Handicap winning over Soul To Soul. Vendedor, Coyaba, Legion and Butterfly round off the nine-horse field.
The Harmony General Breeders Stakes And Trophy is race 6 on the card and will run off at 4.40 p.m
The Leave It To Me Handicap named after the 2010 Derby winner will be going 1800 meters. Horse number 5 Janak’s Gold now under new connections will be going after a hattrick of wins. The first of Janak’s Gold’s wins this year came April 17 in the Street Vendor Handicap going 1570 meters when he upset a field including this year’s Gold Cup winner Dorsett who will be absent this Saturday. In that race Janak’s Gold took 107 pounds, seven less than he will have Saturday. Chasing him home into second place was the Richard Deane-trained Infrared who will take 114 pounds, one pound more than in the Street Vendor Handicap and will be in with a shot once again.
Horse number 3 Just A fashion will be coming off a 128 day lay-off. Just A fashion has not run since the Sandy Lane Gold Cup on March 4 but always puts in his best efforts when fresh. The 2016 champion Import will take the top weight of 128 pounds.
Horse Number 1 Marcus Antonius from the Hopefield barn, will be looking to upset Janak’s Gold. The last time these two met was in The Street Vendor Handicap. Marcus Antonius placed third behind Janak’s Gold and Infrared and he will be looking to going two more steps forward this time around. Anderson Trotman who is on 505 Barbados wins and chasing the overall leader Venice Richards on 509 will be the jockey.
Post time for the first race 2 p.m.