Trainers' race remains close
A determined Anthony Nunes, for the second consecutive racemeet, notched a double to reduce Wayne DaCosta's lead to pre-Superstakes level, a $2.8 million deficit, wiping out the bankroll SHE'S A MANEATER brought in for the champion trainer with her short-head victory over WILL IN CHARGE last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Dick Cardenas trimmed leading rider Anthony Thomas' lead to seven wins, the closest it has been between them so far this season, logging a three-timer - Nunes' double, UNBREAKABLE and UNIVERSAL BOSS - before closing with FRIENDLY NEIGHBOUR for Carl Anderson in the sixth.
Thomas had opened the 10-race card with 2-1 shot LADY JAELA for Ryan Darby but went winless with his other four mounts, including DaCosta's BRANDY, who respectfully chased home BAD BOY TRUMP in the ninth at seven and a half furlongs.
DaCosta, who was denied a win in the stewards' room on Wednesday and had to settle for two second-place purses in midweek, again went home with a pair of runners-up, BRANDY and ROJORN DI PILOT, no match for Nunes' UNIVERSAL BOSS, who won the fifth event for two-year-old maidens at five furlongs round.
Meanwhile, ANNA LISA produced her customary late kick to overhaul AZARIA close home in the United Racehorse Trainers Association of Jamaica feature event, winning at odds of 5-2, giving new apprentice Jordon Barrett, riding at a featherweight 101lb, his first career winner.
However, Barrett's maiden win was overshadowed by yet another intriguing day in the battle between the camps of defending 17-time champion trainer DaCosta and his relentless pursuer, Nunes, a showdown that also involves rival jockeys, Thomas, who is being chased by Panamanian Cardenas.
ANNA LISA's stamina and handicaps came to the fore in the feature, closing fast to go past AZARIA, who had taken over from even-money favourite GRAYDON, whose staying ability was sorely exposed in the nine-furlong and 25-yard event.
GRAYDON weakened into fourth place with topweight 122lb, relegated by 99-1 outsider JACKO LINKS after trying to steal a march down the backstretch but was hard pressed to stay the distance, giving away no less than 13lb to either of the first three past the post.