Lici's Pepsi lands Monday Morning feature
LICI'S PEPSI yesterday improved on her recent Thornbird Stakes run, closing rapidly from off the pace to land the 1400-metre Monday Morning Trophy at odds of 12-1.
Running nine pounds lighter than the 121lb she had carried in the March 17 Thornbird Stakes, LICI'S PEPSI turned for home sixth behind a quartet of horses, who tried to outdo each other on the lead from the start.
SERGEANT RECKLESS, SUPER SPARKLE, OUTRAGEOUS TAJ and 7-5 favourite REGGAE ROAD knotted up on the lead down the backstretch and were four across the track entering the straight.
Rail-running REGGAE ROAD pointed off the turn, but United States-bred filly SUPER SPARKLE and OUTRAGEOUS TAJ both staged rallies while SERGEANT RECKLESS weakened under pressure.
REGGAE ROAD appeared to be going strongest inside the last furlong, but six-furlong fractions of 1:12.3 took their toll, unfolding with LICI'S PEPSI motoring past tiring rivals close to home under non-claiming apprentice Javaniel Patterson.
The final time, 1:28.0, told the tale as REGGAE ROAD was further relegated to third by 32-1 outsider DYNA'S PRIDE, closing fast from off the pace.
LICI'S PEPSI won in improved fashion, fitted with a tongue tie for the first time, and cheek pieces abandoned by trainer Patrick Fong.
The Monday Morning result, following the Thornbird and Prince Consort Stakes, has made the 1000 and 2000 Guineas calculations even more intriguing, two weeks before the mile events, the season's first classics, set for April 14 and 15, respectively.
Patterson appears to have booked two good rides in either Guineas after booting home COMMANDER TWO in yesterday's opening event, the second time he was winning aboard the bay gelding this season after placing fourth in December's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes at a mile.
COMMANDER TWO completed back-to-back victories at 1500 metres, both races clocked in 1:32.3, staking his claim as a genuine 2000 Guineas contender.
Dane Nelson rode two winners, as well, following a similar feat last week. The three-time champion jockey opened his account in the fourth astride 8-5 favourite LADY EXOTIC and returned to land the ninth in a driving finish with 3-1 shot DYSFUNCTIONAL.
Philip Feanny saddled two winning favourites, LIGHTNING MCQUEEN (8-5) in the second and MY SUPER GIRL (2-5) in the eighth.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park tomorrow with a 10-race Holiday card.