She's A Wonder to fly away with Thornbird StakesWednesday, April 07, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
Leading native-bred three-year-old fillies Hoist The Mast, She's A Wonder and Action Ann lock horns in what is expected to be a very interesting battle for top honours in the $2-million Thornbird Stakes feature at Caymanas Park today.
Hoist The Mast, She's A Wonder and Action Ann have never met in a race before today, though two, Hoist The Mast and She's A Wonder have met on four occasions before. Hoist the Mast won the battle against She's A Wonder in three of those races.
They first met on September 19 of last year when Hoist The Mast defeated She's A Wonder by a short head over four furlongs (800m) straight. Their second encounter was on November 1, 2020 in the Cash Pot “Only One For Me” Trophy over six furlongs (1,200m) when Hoist The Mast finished second behind Den Street with She's A Wonder third. One month later they both competed in the Pick3 Super Challenge Trophy and Hoist The Mast came home third and She's A Wonder was fourth. Their fourth race was in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes over a mile on December 27, 2020, when She's A Wonder placed second and Hoist The Mast finished in fourth place.
The race is obviously limited to the three mentioned as the other runners in the line-up — Sensational Ending; Magenta; Three Times Lucky; Amy The Butcher; Sure Curlin; Fighting Cowgirl and Katalina are in the race for minor placings. Magenta, Sure Curlin and Katalina look the best of the pack to hit the board.
The Thornbird Stakes, a native-bred three-year-old Graded Stakes event for fillies only, is one of the major preparation races for the upcoming Classics. The seven-furlong (1,400m) event is positioned as the ninth event on the 10-race card with a post time of 4:30 pm. First race gets off at 11:40 am.
She's A Wonder, after finishing second behind top two-year-old Further and Beyond in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, made a relatively quick return to the racetrack on February 6 to contest a non-winner of two event over five furlongs (1,000m) round. The Ian Parsard trainee won by 3 ¾ lengths, beating American-bred Lure of Lucy in a quick 59.3 seconds.
She's A Wonder is known for speed, but was held off the early pace and then took over approaching the distance and carried her gallop through to the line. That effort hinted of a talented, improving filly, who is the one they all have to beat. Plus, She's A Wonder has been painstakingly prepared for this race with an obvious eye on the bigger prize, the Classics. Reyan Lewis will ride.
Hoist The Mast, trained by champion Anthony Nunes, was very disappointing on her seasonal debut on March 20 over six furlongs (1,200m). Hoist The Mast gave up the running in deep stretch and finished fifth behind Laban. With seven furlongs being the distance of the Thornbird, one would expect Hoist The Mast to again falter in the latter part of this race but then again that effort was a pipe opener from which she must have benefited.
Hoist The Mast could set off in front and prove difficult to peg back, but there is enough speed in the Thornbird and if she gets engaged in a speed duel then her chances of winning will be lessened. Throw away that first run, as Hoist The Mast should be stripped fitter and a much better run is expected, especially with the bustling four-time champion jockey Dane Nelson in the saddle for the first time.
Action Ann is also a talented filly who has class. The Christopher Pearson trainee won the Hot Line Stakes over six furlongs on March 13 when she came with a strong run towards the end of the race to nip Secret Identity by a neck in a time of 1:14.3 minutes. The final time wasn't that impressive, but the manner of victory suggests that she should enjoy this journey as Action Ann was a 13-length winner over this distance when releasing the maiden tag.
Action Ann is in a state of rapid improvement and when this race is being decided, she will be there. Omar Walker remains in the saddle.
Also on tap are the Eight Thirty (fillies) and Mercury (colts and geldings) sprint races over five furlongs straight.
In the Eight Thirty, first-time runner Curlin's Barracuda ( Perfect Curlin – Sarah Barracuda) should make a favourable impression. Mum, Diamond In The Sky and Artesia should be competitive. Curlin's Barracuda is trained by Nunes and is to be ridden by Nelson.
Father Riel, Vanquisher, Iannai Links, Press Conference and Acero are the leading contenders. The edge is being given to the Nunes-trained and Richard Reid-ridden Acero.
Ones to watch:
Race 1) Burlin/Fearless Treblav/
Race 2) Diosa de Oro/Subbie/
Race 3) D's Choice/Diamond
League/Duke of Springs
Race 4) Curlin's Barracuda/
Mum/Diamond In The Sky
Race 5) Acero/Father Riel/
Race 6) Elitist/Roses for Elle/
Race 7) Enuffisenuff/Axle Rod/
Race 8) Dejae's Boy/Alexa's
Race 9) She's A Wonder/Hoist
the Mast/Action Ann
Race 10) Marquesas/
Oneofakind/Chace The Great
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