The Robert Peirce trained Oberoi, winner of the Pinnacle Feeds Midsummer Classic on June 24, the second leg of the Barbados Triple Crown, goes into the Massy United Derby as the early favourite on August 1, Emancipation Day.
The son of the 2010 Derby winner Leave It To Me will be trying to emulate his dam in winning this prestigious classic. Oberoi has already copied his dam by running second in the first leg the Barbados Guineas and winning the Midsummer Classic but needs to win the Derby come Tuesday, August 1, to take a full leaf out of her book.
The Massy United Derby will run for a purse of $68 000 plus subscriptions totalling $45,050.
Leave It To Me will become the fourth dam that has won the Derby and produce a Derby winner if Oberoi wins this year’s running. Water Lily who won the Derby back in 1961 became the first broodmare to produce a Derby winner when her son Waters Meet won in the 1973 running and became the first Triple Crown winner. Vintage sailed home in the Derby in 1970 and produced Red Wine the 1979 Derby winner. Zarmella, which had won the 1994 Derby, produced Galileo who won the Derby in 1999.
At the Massy United Insurance press conference on Wednesday in the Incitatus Members Lounge, trainer Robert Peirce pulled post-position number 9 for Oberoi and looked happy with that draw. Oberoi will be ridden by 2016 champion jockey Rasheed Hughes.
Trainer Victor Cheeseman will be looking for a record-breaking four Derby wins in a row after he equalled the late trainer Val Gale last year winning a hat-trick of derbies.
Cheeseman will saddle this year’s Guineas winner Fleurette which was drawn at number 1 and he was all smiles as he hopes that will be her final position at the end of the race. Fleurette will have a new partner in jockey Antonio Perch who rode second place horse Donicodidit in the 2015 Derby and will be looking for his first win this year.
The champion trainer for the last four years pulled gate number 4 for his other entry Legion who had run second to Oberoi in the Midsummer Classic.
This year’s Derby will have an overseas flavour with two entrants from Trinidad and Tobago. Horse number 8 Alruna won the Chief Commander Stakes on turf on May 30 and seems the more fancied of the two. Alruna is trained by the champion trainer of Trinidad John O’Brian and will be ridden by Sheldon Rodrigo who was the winning rider in the Chief Commander Stakes.
The other entry from the twin island republic will be number 11 Niskys Boy, owned by Shivam Maharaj and trained by Harry Gobin. Niskys Boy had run second to Alruna in the Chief Commander Stakes which made him eligible for the Barbados Derby. Niskeys Boy will have top international Jockey Tyler Gaffalione, the leading rider at Gulf Stream Park Florida for 2017.
Gaffalione was also the Eclipse award-winning jockey in the USA in 2015 for outstanding apprentice rider The father and son team of Steve and Allan Madoo who enjoyed back-to- back success in this year’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup with Dorsett will be looking for a Derby win with horse number 7 D’Girlz Dem Sugar.
He ran third in the Barbados Guineas before he won the Harmony General Insurance Breeders Classic on May 27. He then returned to finish third to stable mate Oberoi in the Pinnacle Feeds Midsummer Classic. Jalon Samuel who rides for the Madoos has the riding assignment once again. D’ Girls Dem Sugar is trained by Peirce.
Rhum Inc.’s three-year-old chestnut filly Javalier, a third entrant for trainer Peirce, is fresh from running fourth in the Midsummer Classic behind stable mates Oberoi and D’Girlz Dem Sugar.
The daughter of Janak has drawn gate 3 and will have Reshawn Latchman in the saddle. He is returning from Gulf Stream Park in Florida for the riding engagement. Butterfly, Black Rock, Zip Code, Justice League and Amber Rose make up the rest of the 13-horse field with Carbon Copy being the reserve as only 12 horses can go.
Post time for Derby Day is 12.30 p.m. and the Derby will be running off at 4.50 p.m.