Orville Clarke,Gleaner Writer
Former champion jockey Dick Cardenas highlighted yesterday's nine-race programme at Caymanas Park with three winners, including 9-5 second favourite EARLY EDITION in the Monica Todd Memorial Cup feature (claiming $180,000) over 2000 metres.
Under a brilliant ride from the Panamanian, EARLY EDITION beat 1-2 favourite JAGSOVER under leading jockey Omar Walker by a neck in a tremendous stretch duel, then had to survive a stewards' inquiry.
Both horses bumped into each other when locked together leaving the furlong pole, but Cardenas resorted to the left-hand stick at a crucial stage and gained the ascendancy for a narrow win over JAGSOVER (made most) under a hand ride from Walker.
EARLY EDITION is owned by Western Syndicate and trained by Nicholas Edwards.
Cardenas also won aboard 7-5 chance SANTANA for trainer Richard Azan in the opening two-year-old race over the straight and 9-2 chance SANGO for back-to-form trainer Lee Clarke in the sixth race for maiden three-year-olds over the round-five course.
SANGO was unable to go the early pace as WINESHA (21-1) led at a fast clip into the straight, ahead of highly-fancied REIGN OVER ALL. However, SANGO got a clear run on the rails a furlong out to win by 3 1/4 lengths from the fast-finishing 6-5 favourite ALEXANDER (outpaced).
Clarke, a former mayor of Kingston, was posting his second winner in consecutive racedays, following the 90-1 outsider OH MY GRAND PA with Cardenas up last Saturday.
Cardenas thus pushed his season's tally to 58 in third, which is 24 adrift of leading jockey Omar Walker, who failed to ride a winner on the card, and 14 behind second- placed Dane Nelson who rode one winner in 9-5 second-favourite PRINCESS NIYAH in the third race over 1200 metres.
CLASSIC BEAU (6-5), meanwhile, defied topweight under favourite jockey Clive Lynch to win the eighth race (high claiming) in decisive fashion, this after chasing and overtaking the favourite MAN ALIVE in the last furlong.