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Big plans for Derby day

Derby Day this year will be huge. The 89th running of the prestigious 2400-metre race, sponsored for the first time by the United Bookmakers Association (UBA), replacing Digicel, will take place at Caymanas Park on Saturday, June 13.

Plans for the big day were outlined at Tuesday's launch by representatives of the UBA (comprising Track Price Plus, Champion and Markham Betting) and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) at the Fiction nightclub, Market Place, Constant Spring Road.

To complement the day's racing, CTL, in association with the UBA, will host a Derby Party under the infield tent from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $2,000 all-inclusive. Entertainment will be provided by Bloodline, DJ Inferno from Fame FM and Quantum Sound, while Jinx and Supa Hype will alternate as hosts. Proceeds from the party will go to the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

CTL's racing secretary, Denzil Miller Jr, said this, the most open of derbies in years, offers a total purse of $5 million, thanks to a $1.5 million contribution from the UBA.

In all, the 12 races on the card will offer a whopping $11.9 million in purses, with the UBA putting up $2.5 million in total sponsorship.

More sponsored races

Other sponsored races on the card are the UBA Sprint (grade one) for three-year-olds and up over 1300 metres, with a purse of $1.5 million, and the UBA Juvenile Stakes for maidens and untrieds over 600-metre straight, which offers a total purse of $750,000.

Of the eight remaining races, the UBA will boost the purse of each by $50,000, while one will receive an injection of $100,000.

Describing the Derby as a "true test of speed, stamina and courage", Miller said the top contenders are the 2000 Guineas hero BRUCEONTHELOOSE, who is unbeaten in four races this season; the brilliant filly SAINT CECELIA, winner of the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks; Lotto Classic (Governor's Cup) winner HE'S REALLY OK; the Lotto runner-up JAYLEN; the third horse THE RED SKULL; as well as POSEIDON and BURNING CIELO.

Others expected to run are ANASTASIA, GO ROBIN GO, MY SPACE and COUGWAY.

- O.C.