GENERAL JN, who is vying to become the first horse to complete the local Triple Crown since Momentum in 2014, has been drawn in gate one of the Carib Brewery Trinidad Derby Stakes, which will take place next Monday, Republic Day, at the Santa Rosa Park in Arima.
There will be six horses in the field, for West Indies-bred three-year-olds, over a distance of 2000 metres.
General JN, who was the Arima Race Club (ARC) top horse for 2017, is owned by former Health Minister Jerry Narace and trained by John Leotaud.
Kerron Khelawan, who have ridden General JN in both the Easter Guineas and Midsummer Classic, has been given the task of guiding the Jamaican-bred horse to the coveted Crown.
Trainers Glenn Mendez and Harold Chadee will each have two horses in the reckoning.
From the Mendez camp, Streaking Far (with jockey Dillon Khelawan) has been lined up in gate three while Cape Canaveral (with jockey Ricardo Jadoo) will start in gate five.
Chadee’s two entrants are River Secret (with jockey Antonio Whitehall) from gate two and Warmonger (with jockey Rico Hernandez) from gate six.
Completing the field is Blazing Gem, trained by Glen Emmanuel and ridden by Jovika Boodramsingh.
At yesterday’s draw for post positions, at the Carib Brewery Executive Suite, Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair, Narace is hopeful of success for his team next Monday. “We’re always cautiously confident,” he said.
About the draw, Narace commented, “That is the work of the Almighty, the work of our team and the breeders. I’m very excited. We’re keeping the same jockey.”
He continued, “We received a lot of advice (but) I think the team has been handling the fort. They’ve done a fantastic job so far.”
He was high in praise of the three-year-old General JN.
“He is an incredible horse,” Narace noted. “He sleeps when he’s finished working, he eats when he’s supposed to eat, when he gets on that track he’s a whole different beast. I am so privileged to be the owner of that incredible horse. And I’m also equally blessed to have a great team, and the good luck that the Almighty God has given to us.”
Narace was asked why he is sticking with Kerron Khelawan for the Carib Brewery Trinidad Derby Stakes, instead of the more experienced Brian Boodramsingh.
“Khelawan rode him at every Classic,” Narace replied. “The only time Khelawan did not ride him was when he couldn’t catch the weight (and we passed him on to Brian) who, influentially rode Momentum to the Triple Crown. We had offers from foreign jockeys (but) we agreed that we’d go with Khelawan.”
What type of track he expects at the Derby Stakes? Narace replied, “That’s exactly the question I asked the (trainer). And he said ‘boss, this horse looks like it could run in the ocean’. We probably have a surprise coming next week.”
There was also the draw for post positions in the Carib Brand Diamond Stakes, for WI-bred three-year-olds and over an imported two-year-olds and over. Eight horses will be contesting this 1350-metre event.
Here are the entrants, owners, trainers and jockeys for this race…
1.Magical Victory*Mitra Samlal*Michael Carew jnr*Andrew Poon
2.Nuclear Power*Shiva Maharaj*Harriram Gobin*Yosenyer Serrano
3.Stockyard*Shivam Maharaj*Harriram Gobin*Wilmer Galviz
4.Princess Suri*Suraj Hayban*Shaffique Khan*Ronald Ali
5.Pauseforacoors*Raroma Stables*John O’Brien*Brian Boodramsingh
6.Bigman In Town*Baskaran Bassawh*Chester Roberts*Ricardo Jadoo
7.One Fortheroad*Shivam Maharaj*Harriram Gobin*Dillon Khelawan
8.Rocket Wheels*Jerry Narace*John Leotaud*Rico Hernandez