Bridgmohan surges in front at Fair Grounds
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CMC):
Top flight Jamaican jockey Shaun Bridgmohan is the new championship leader at Fair Grounds after piloting three winners on Saturday's card.
Combining with Barbadian Patrick Husbands for four Caribbean wins on the 13-race card, Bridgmohan surged to 54 wins in the current season, two ahead of previous leader James Graham, who scored one win to climb to 52 wins.
Bridgmohan captured the first, fifth and 12th races on the card, while Canada-based Husbands landed the fourth race for his second win since arriving here two weeks ago.
The 30-year-old Bridgmohan missed out in three added-money events he contested, including the rich Risen Star Stakes, but enjoyed more trips to the winners' enclosure than any other rider on the afternoon.
He scored his first win in the US$23,500 first race over six furlongs, steering the 3-to-1 bet Heavenly Chorus to an easy victory by 5-1/4 lengths in one minute, 09.53 seconds.
Bridgmohan then won the US$39,000 fifth race in a spectacular finish astride the three-year-old colt Z Winner at odds of 5-1.
A mere two lengths separated the first seven horses flashing past the winning post, and Bridgmohan got Z Winner home by a head, covering the six-furlong trip in 1:12.20.
Bridgmohan completed his triple with another narrow victory in the 12th race aboard the six-year-old gelding Wildrally.
Coming from behind, Wildrally quickened decisively down the homestretch and won the US$44,000 one-mile turf event by a neck in 1:40.14, edging the 7-5 favourite Smoothcideup under top jockey Pat Valenzuela.
Bridgmohan mounted the 22-1 shot Letsgetiton in the US$300,000 Risen Star Stakes and finished eighth and he was also outside of the top three in the US$60,000 Pan Zareta Stakes and US$60,000 Colonel Power Stakes.
He was fourth in Pan Zareta Stakes with the 4-1 bet Simplify and fifth aboard Storm Treasure (10-1) in the Colonel Power Stakes.
Husbands, a record seven-time winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada's most outstanding jockey, picked up his win in the US$41,000 fourth race over 5-1/2 furlongs on turf with the four-year-old gelding Porter's Gate.
Trained by Malcolm Pierce for Barbados-based Canadian owner Eugene Melnyk, Porter's Gate came from behind with a stirring rail run for an upset win by a neck in a tight three-horse finish. Porter's Gate clocked 1:04.86 in victory over the 9-1 bet Capt Obvious, with Evacuation Route (5-1) a further head behind in third.