Come Dance With Me all the way
Orville Clarke, Freelance Writer
The unbeaten filly, COME DANCE WITH ME, turned in another scintillating performance at Caymanas Park yesterday to win the 10th running of the $2.95 million Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy over 1200 metres, race number one in the rich and prestigious Supreme Ventures Two-Year-Old Series, comprising three races.
Installed a howling 2-5 favourite with former champion jockey Percy Williams riding her for owner/breeder Howard Hamilton and trainer Dwight Chen, COME DANCE WITH ME broke smartly from the number one post position and proceeded to make all.
After turning for home four lengths clear of FOREST FLAME (9-1) and 2-1 second favourite ALI BABA under leading jockey Dick Cardenas, COME DANCE WITH ME only had to be pushed out by Williams to win by three lengths in the fairly good time of 1:13.3 on a surface by no means fast.
In the battle for second, ALACRANN (6-1), who was outpaced in the eight-strong field, finished with a flourish to beat FOREST FLAME by a neck close home, while ALI BABA was somewhat disappointing in placing fourth.
"She had been working impressively for this race and with Lasix administered for the first time, I knew she would report even better for this race," said Williams, the 1994 champion jockey.
"She broke sharply from the number one post position and was going so sweetly leaving the half-mile that I wasn't concerned about who was behind me. In the end, she won with a bit in hand and I am looking forward to riding her again in the second race in the series, the Pick-3 Challenge Trophy, over 1400 metres on November 29. The additional furlong won't pose a problem.
"This is a filly with lots of class and she should continue to impact on the two-year-old races this season," added Williams.
Chen said he would not describe her as an exceptional two-year-old filly in the mold of last year's unbeaten champion and subsequent Horse of the Year PRINCESS POPSTAR at this stage.
"What I can tell you is that she is a talented filly who should go places in the months ahead," said Chen.
COME DANCE WITH ME is a chestnut filly by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of the Dance Master mare Soca Dancer.
Meanwhile, champion jockey Dane Nelson, who is engaged with a prolonged duel with the 2011 champion Cardenas for the jockey championship, rode three winners on the SVL-sponsored 10-race programme to be one adrift of Cardenas, who could only muster one win, aboard 1-2 favourite MR LUVAL in the closing race.
Nelson booted home 6-5 favourite CHEERS for trainer Richard Azan in the third race, Cash Pot Super Dash Trophy over 1000 metres, SAINT THERESA at 8-5 for trainer Steven Todd in the fifth race and 1-5 favourite PIZARRO for Azan in the sixth race over 1400 metres for maiden three year olds.
Cardenas leads the standings with 86 wins, one ahead of Nelson, as the race for the title promises to go down to the wire.