Nelson upstages Cardenas with triple
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Champion jockey Dane Nelson rode three winners at Caymanas Park yesterday to join arch rival Dick Cardenas on 76 wins in their intriguing contest for the jockeys' championship.
Nelson, who is seeking his third consecutive title, won the first double aboard 1-9 favourite TITANIC for trainer Clifford Atkinson Sr and followed up with 7-2 chance SAFE PASSAGE for trainer Andrew McDonald over the straight five course to draw level with Cardenas on 75 wins.
However, Cardenas regained the lead with an impressive win aboard 1-5 favourite ALI BABA for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta in the third over 1200 metres for native-bred two-year-olds, before Nelson came back to win the day's feature (eighth race) over 1300 metres for the Donald Tankoy Memorial Cup aboard 3-2 chance CHIEF SECRETARIAT.
Trained by Everal Francis for owner Orrett Wellington of Doks Stable, CHIEF SECRETARIAT, a lightly raced chestnut filly by War Marshall out of Fast Flyer, was outpaced in fourth coming into the straight as 1-2 favourite BATTLE SONG, under leading all-time jockey Winston Griffiths, led from DR DEAREST (8-1), who mounted her challenge from early in the straight.
But no sooner had Dr DEAREST disposed of BATTLE SONG leaving the furlong pole, CHIEF SECRETARIAT produced a rare turn of foot widest of all to beat the 70-1 outsider WHO'S BOSSY, running on, by 11/4 lengths with DR DEAREST third.
Following a stewards' inquiry, WHO'S BOSSY, with top apprentice O'Brien White aboard, was disqualified and placed fifth for causing interference to RASHAIDA (9-2) in the last furlong, and DR DEAREST promoted to second in a field of 11 maiden three-year-olds.
Later in the afternoon, POTCHEEN, offering the attractive odds of 10-1, defied top weight of 57.0kg with former champion Omar Walker aboard to win the 3-Y-O and up stakes over 1400 metres by 21/4 lengths from his front-running stable-companion UPPA TUNE in a field of six. The Robert Pearson-trained POTCHEEN, who was prominently placed in third at the half mile and soon improved into second, went by UPPA TUNE early in the last furlong for a decisive win.
Walker had a second winner on the card in odds-on favourite DAGGA DAGGA LINKS in the closing race over the straight, while DaCosta posted two winners in ALI BABA and 9-5 chance HOVER CRAFT, who ran on strongly with Shamaree Muir aboard to catch the highly fancied leaders CRUCIAL APPEAL (led) and FRANFIELD (chased) to win the overnight allowance race over 1400 metres.