LAST YEAR'S Derby runner-up, Galveston, who has been evading a clash with Jamaica-bred Bruceontheloose, heads a field of seven nominees for the inaugural running of the 1,800-metre Top Of The Class Stakes which will be run off on August 18 at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Galveston, who has displayed marked improvement this season scoring effortlessly and climbing up the ratings ladder, comes up against a mediocre bunch in an event that could be more of a rematch between Galveston and B's Passion.
At the third nomination stage on Wednesday, filly B's Passion, who was comprehensively beaten by Galveston in last month's National Stakes and is in line to be the champion three-year-old filly of 2011, is the only serious threat among the nominees.
Also nominated in the event is sprinter Skyline Pigeon along with geldings Slippery Sam and Alexander, along with Invictus and Mambo Cat. The first running of the Top Of The Class Stakes was staged on the turf over 1,100 metres for locally bred horses and importations, but has been rewritten for four-year-old and over creoles over 1,800 metres.
And the second nomination for the Grade One Independence Cup which will be run off over 1,800 metres on the turf on August 31 were also accepted on Wednesday.
Seventeen horses were nominated for the two-turn race which attracted the likes of Champagne Stakes winner, Rock Movistar along with recent Eric 'Colt' Durant Turf Memorial winner, Just Call Me Roger and multiple turf winner Raging Halo.
The first nomination for the 1,350-metre Diamond Stakes which will be run off on Derby Day—September 24—was also accepted on Wednesday, with creole Bruceontheloose and last year's Stewards Cup winner Signal Alert among the nominees. They were joined by improving three-year-old colt Ignition Coil and the speedy Get It All and Smart American. Also nominated is Montejo, who is dropping back in trip and Readbetweendlines, who has not been seen out since finishing second in the Caribbean Nations Cup to St Kitts-owned American Dance.
Here are the nominees for the 1,800-metre Top Of The Class Stakes, the 1,800-metre Independence Cup on the turf, and the 1,350-metre Diamond Stakes.
DIAMOND STAKES (GR 11) --1,350 Metres (20) -- September 24.
Blackstone Street (USA), Boogie Blues (USA), Bruceontheloose (Jam), El Bandido De Oro (USA), Get It All (USA), Ignition Coil (USA), Just Call Me Roger (USA), King Street (USA), King Whistler (USA), Mobthewarrior (Can), Montejo (USA), Readbetweendlines (USA), Rock Movistar (USA), Sacred Trust (USA), Signal Alert (USA), Silverleo (USA), Skyline Pigeon, Smart American (USA), Star Tiger (USA), Youaresobad (USA).
TOP OF THE CLASS STAKES --1,800 Metres -- (7) -- August 18.
Alexander, B's Passion, Galveston, Invictus, Mambo Cat, Skyline Pigeon, Slippery Sam.
INDEPENDENCE CUP (GR 1) -- 1,800 Metres(TURF)-- (17) -- August 31.
Big Boy Jordan (USA), Blackstone Street (USA), Boogie Blues (USA), Cherokee Wells (USA), Gabby's Gold (USA), Lang Amour (USA), Just Call Me Roger (USA), Joezel (USA), Malibu Heights (USA), Mobthewarrior (Can), Montejo (USA), Raging Halo (USA), Rock Movistar (USA), Sacred Trust (USA), Personal Exchange (USA), Silverleo (USA), Youaresobad (USA).