DaCosta, Nunes showdown in Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Stakes
Caymanas Park’s top-two trainers, champion Wayne DaCosta and his perennial nemesis, Anthony Nunes, continue their rivalry this weekend in Saturday’s Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Stakes, a 1200-metre event for open allowance runners.
DaCosta, who leads Nunes by $2.6m in stakes, has three runners in the 11-horse field, including speedy MR UNIVERSE, who won back-to-back races in fast times last month. The four-year-old speedster returned to lead the May 26 Lotto Sprint, setting up a fast pace for stablemate, SHE’S A MANEATER, who ran on to win.
Nunes has two runners in the event, five-year-old ORPHEUS, the 2016 Derby awardee, and BILINGUAL, a four-year-old filly who placed second in the 1000 Guineas and Jamaica Oaks last year.
Whereas BILINGUAL lacks the speed to bother MR UNIVERSE, ORPHEUS is a strong closer at 1200 metres and has beaten the likes of grade one campaigner MONEY MAGNET at the distance.
Last time out, ORPHEUS was denied a hat-trick by quick stablemate SIEMPRE BUENO at 1000-metre straight on March 7, a one-length loss in a fast 57.4, while carrying topweight 126lb in open allowance.
MR UNIVERSE won his last race at 1000-metre straight, clocking 58.1, carrying 115lb in the class below open allowance, beating SARAH LEE and LORD EQUUS.
MR UNIVERSE returns with 115lb, partnered by Gary Richards. ORPHEUS comes in at 120lb with Shane Ellis, who has been aboard the chestnut horse five times in his last six starts.
The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Stakes is the 10th of 11 races scheduled and will run off at 5:10 p.m.
First post is noon.