By Kent Layne
Two Derby winners will face off against each other in the Barbados Breeders Association Breeder’s Classic, when 2021 triple crown winner People’s Champ and 2020 Derby winner War Eagle go head-to-head at the Garrison Savannah tomorrow.
The Breeder’s Classic is worth $30 000 for 3-year-olds and older local bred horses who will go 1800 meters in the event slated for 6:30 p.m.
The Breeders Classic always brings out the best local bred horses and has been won by Derby winners in the past such as 1989 triple crown winner Coo Bird and 2009 triple crown winner Areutalkintome who are the only triple crown winners to win the Breeders Classic.
2007 Derby winner Apostle and 2021 Breeders Classic champion Gandalf are the other past Derby champions to win the Breeders Classic, just missing the triple crown having won the first leg Guineas but not the second leg of the Barbados triple crown, the Midsummer Classic.
Owners’ Kids Syndicate and Stephan Narinesingh and Andrew Nunes-trained 4-year-old colt People’s Champ returns to races after a disappointing unplaced venture with the top-rated horses in the Coolmore Home of Champions Stakes in March this year.
Having not raced since the Coolmore Stakes because of surgery to remove a chipped bone in the knee, the smart runner had won four of six races last year.
He was beaten into second place by Dream Society in his first start for 2021 and had an unplaced 6th position in the Hopeful Stakes behind winner Bazadee Gal, but had then gone on to sweep the triple crown. Then he won the Breeders Stakes in his last start last year.
2006 triple crown winner Zouk is the only triple crown winner to have lost the Breeders Classic being unplaced in the 2006 running. Rey Williams will ride last year’s triple crown champ and will carry 128 Ibs.
This year’s Tanglewood Stakes winner, 8-year-old gelding Neilos, is in ripping form. His worst place has been a fourth in five starts for 2022.
Owned by Box Two, Neilos stunned Derby winners Gandalf and War Eagle and won the Tanglewood at odds of 6-1 in the betting as Derby winners seem to be on the Kenny John-trained runner’s menu of late and could have triple crown winners for dinner tomorrow night. Neilos will be ridden by Eric Daniel and will carry 128 pounds
Trainer Victor Cheeseman, winner of the Breeders Classic for the past five runnings with Northern Star (2016-2017), Brave Star (2018 -2019) and Gandalf 2021, will have 2020 Barbados Midsummer Classic and Derby winner War Eagle sharp to the task to keep a tight grip on this race. There was no running of the race in 2020.
War Eagle who finished second in the 2020 Barbados Guineas was disappointing in his first two starts this year being unplaced, returned to finish a good fourth in his last outing on August 20 . Rasheed Hughes will ride War Eagle and carrying 128 pounds.
Horse number 1 Pussy Kat from the Edward Walcott stable had run creditable third place finishes in both the Barbados Guineas and Barbados Derby to stablemate Hurricane who sadly is absent from Saturday’s lineup. It would have been interesting to see two triple crown winners facing off with 2020 Derby winner War Eagle. Pussy Kat will be ridden by Antonio Bishop carrying 119 Ibs. Tudor Rose rounds off the field. Post time for race 1 is 12.30p.m.
My selections: People’s Champ, War Eagle, Neilos, Pussy Kat.