Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Odds-on favourite EMERGENCE made short work of her nine opponents to win the annual renewal of the Milliard Ziadie Cup (claiming $4350,000-$300,000) over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker for trainer Victor Williams and O'Shaun Connection, the consistent six-year-old mare by Region Of Merit out of Strategic Partners strolled home by six lengths from the late-running SOCA PARTY (7-2), who got up in the nick of time to beat STEP IT UP (51-1) and WHO DO U EXPECT (7-1) for third and fourth places, respectively.
EMERGENCE was ridden to chase early leader THE GUARDIAN before mounting his challenge on the outside entering the straight, then quickly disposed of him for a facile win. CANDACE (lame) was declared a late non-starter.
Meanwhile, the outstanding performance of the afternoon was turned in by the American three-year-old colt, COMMANDER ONE, who romped the maiden condition race for imported three-year-olds and up by the resounding margin of 16 lengths on this his debut.
One of three winners for newly crowned champion jockey Dane Nelson on the nine-race card, COMMANDING ONE, installed a howling 1-4 favourite in an 11-strong field, disputed the lead with ALI'S WONDERBOY passing the half-mile before going about his business for a runaway win. He covered the distance in the very smart time of 1.04.4 behind splits of 23.3 and 45.4 for the half-mile, even though eased in the last 100 metres.
COMMANDER ONE was one of two winners for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta on the card and the second of three for Nelson, who now leads the standings with five winners.
Nelson also won aboard the DaCosta-trained TANTALOO, an evens favourite in the second race and AWESOME MARQUE (4-1), who held off LITTLE MISS JAYLA by a head in the closing Track Price Plus Dig Out Handicap.