No sweat for Commander Two
CLASSIC hopeful COMMANDER TWO yesterday easily dispatched non-winners of two, dictating the pace down the backstretch before peeling off at the home turn for a four-length win at 1500 metres.
The bay gelding was well handled by non-claiming apprentice Javaniel Patterson, who kept his mount just the leader to the top of the lane despite being pressed BRANDY and LICI'S PEPSI coming off the turn.
With no matching speed in the event, 3-5 favourite COMMANDER TWO had loads of reserve in the tank and streaked home clear of 6-1 shot FAYROUZ, who came forward a furlong out to relegate LICI'S PEPSI and BRANDY to third and fourth, respectively.
COMMANDER TWO's performance was in stark contrast to his last run, December's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, when he engaged speedy PATRIARCH in a tearaway duel for the lead.
Having shown the ability to be rated, COMMANDER TWO's preparations will ultimately point him to April's 2000 Guineas at a mile where he will renew rivalry with Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes winner MARQUESAS.
Patterson was aboard another gate-to-wire winner, making all with 6-1 upsetter TAZ in the fifth event at 1100 metres, emerging the day's top rider.
Trainer Dave Girod's PERFECTTRUBLEMEKKA left punters with heads hanging and out of pocket, landing the closing event at odds of 29-1, resulting in a Twilight Pick 6 payout of $542,643.80.
However, the unconquerable single-winner Pick 4, kept on its merry way, paying out $80,832 to winning tickets, leaving the single-winner jackpot at $4.5m.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday.