Cardenas bags a three-timer
Panamanian jockey Dick Cardenas upstaged leading rider Anthony Thomas yesterday, logging a hat-trick of winners, including SUPER SPARKLE, who turned the tables on MY ELLE BELLE in a gate-to-wire victory.
Cardenas, a two-time champion jockey at Caymanas Park, opened his hat-trick astride Anthony Nunes' two-year-old debutant, BALTUSROL, and had lady luck on his side in the sixth event when 11-1 shot SMARTY TRADITION was awarded the race in the stewards' room.
However, the Panamanian needed no help to close out his hat-trick, riding a well-timed race astride SUPER SPARKLE at eight and a half furlongs.
Utilising the filly's speed down the long backstretch, Cardenas played coy on the lead, awaiting MY ELLE BELLE, who was forced to come off her bridle too early, having to go in chase of the relaxed leader from a half-mile out.
Having dominated the lead at her leisure, SUPER SPARKLE kept finding extra in the straight and won by two lengths as MY ELLE BELLE fizzled out inside the last half-furlong.
Cardenas' hat-trick moved him to 43 winners, going past Shane Ellis (41) for second place in the jockeys' title race behind apprentice Thomas, who eased to 67 after opening the card with HOLOGRAM SHADOW and returning to score with 7-1 upsetter, STORM, for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta in the eighth.
A packed month of racing continues on Wednesday, the fifth of eight meetings scheduled for August.