KINGSTON, Jamaica - AFTER a truly breath-taking victory in the 1000 Guineas on Saturday, April 13, the Anthony Nunes-trained I Am Di One has been smoothly going through her paces in preparation for the 10-furlong, Rum Fire White Overproof Rum-sponsored Jamaica Oaks on Saturday next (May 4).
The Jamaica Oaks is the third Classic race for three-year-olds and is confined to fillies only.
The progress of I Am Di One saw the Adore The Gold – It Is I three-year-old bay filly first win over six furlongs, then came the one mile of the Guineas and the next plateau is 10 furlongs and the first time going around two turns.
I Am Di One in her two races to date has demonstrated more than enough class to handle her three-year-old colleagues at any distance.
Now the prohibitive odd on - 1-9 favourite of the Oaks, I Am Di One galloped on Monday, April 22, over seven furlongs, producing a clocking of 1:28.3 for the distance. Nothing truly exciting but enough to indicate that she is going to be more than ready for her Oaks engagement.
This is a talented filly with the only question being — who will ride her in the Oaks? In the 1000 Guineas, Barbadian jockey Simon Husbands, who has been based in Canada for a number of years, did the riding honours but he left the island the day after winning the Guineas.
Husbands, who has developed a strong association with I Am Di One, in all of his post-Guineas interviews stated clearly that he will return to partner the filly if called upon to so do.
We have to wait until tomorrow (Wednesday, May 1), when nominations are taken for the Oaks by the promoting company to get a final answer to that particular question.
Second in the 1000 Guineas, the Wayne DaCosta-conditioned Lady Blue has been going through her preparation routine in good order, although the strong thought is that Lady Blue is going to find the 10 furlongs of the Oaks a bit testing on her stamina.
Lady Blue on April 22 worked with her stable companion and likely starter in the Oaks, Princess Annie, the latter finishing fifth in the 1000 Guineas.
Lady Blue galloped five-and-a-half furlongs in an easy 1:08.0, getting the better of Princess Annie who clocked 1:09.1. Princess Annie at this stage gives the distinct impression that she is going to prefer going longer.
A surprise third in the 1000 Guineas, Casual Drink from the hot stables of trainer Gary Subratie is progressing well, as she aims for another good run in the Classic Oaks event.
Casual Drink on Sunday, April 21 was pretty easy in her seven-furlong gallop coming home with a recorded time of 1:31.0.
Upset fourth in the 1000 Guineas, Envisaged, another from the camp of leading trainer Nunes, galloped six furlongs in a time of 1:19.4.
Envisaged has shown a likeness in her many competitive appearances on the track for a distance of ground and is going to find 10 furlongs right up her street.
The other two contenders, who have an outsider’s chance of reaping glory in the Jamaica Oaks, are the royal pair of Princess Ava trained by Nunes and Princess Lauren who comes under the care of Subratie.
Princess Ava was easy in her gallop on Monday, April 22, when she was timed in 1:16.4 for six furlongs.
Princess Lauren on Wednesday, April 24, like Princess Ava, also galloped six furlongs but in a much slower time of 1:19.0.
The Rum Fire Jamaica Oaks is the official Ladies Day at the racetrack, and the first-time sponsor of the race are providing a chance to taste and win great prizes and surprises.
It should be noted that Nunes won the Jamaica Oaks last year with his filly, Fayrouz.