Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
POTCHEEN, ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker for second-generation trainer Ian Parsard, turned in another impressive display to win the War Zone Sprint Trophy 3-y-o stakes over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday as the 4-5 favourite.
Despite topweight of 57.0kg, the bay colt by Traditional out of Bubble Gum Hottie, came through early in the straight to win by 31/2 lengths from 26-1 outsider SUNSHINE BOY under champion jockey Dick Cardenas in a field of 11.
DIFERENTGENERATION, ridden by apprentice Orlando Foster, led narrowly from SUNSHINE BOY on the outside as they left the half mile with POTCHEEN biding his time close up in third.
As they swung into the straight, however, POTCHEEN came through in the middle for a narrow lead over SUNSHINE BOY, then asserted his authority leaving the furlong pole to win going away in the smart time of 1:06.0.
Owned by Curragh Jamaica Agency and bred by Percival 'Burt' Tomlinson, POTCHEEN, who was purchased for $1.5 million in the 2010 TOBA yearling sale at Caymanas Park, duly made it two in a row, having scored in fast time (1:12.1) over 1200 metres on August 15.
Parsard, a former director of CTL, was happy with the performance, describing it as "excellent", bearing in mind the weight and time returned.
"To get him here has not always been smooth," he confessed. "A liver infection ruled him out of the 2000 Guineas in April and we had to put him down and re-programme him after a poor run in the Derby," he added.
"He was not himself for quite a while, but all that is behind him now and he should make his mark over sprint and middle distances in the months ahead," he said.
Parsard saddled a second winner in evens-favourite GHOST RAPPER, owned by his father, trainer Harry Parsard, in the opening race over a mile in which he just lasted from fast-finishing THE VALIDICTORIAN with Cardenas aboard.
On a day when Walker rode three winners in GHOST RAPPER, POTCHEEN and 3-5 favourite NOON IT IS for leading owner Michros, Gary Subratie also saddled two winners (Noon It Is, Luminous Trieste) and Cardenas had two winners as well, including 2-5 favourite LADY OF MERIT in the Winnie Anglin Memorial Cup 2-y-o race.
Ruja Lahoe became the first from the new batch of apprentices to take a double, this comprising TIME OF STORM (5-1) and SHE'S SO SPECIAL (6-1), while Borris McIntosh posted his first win as a trainer with 12-1 chance LADY GORAKHPUR.