Upset win makes Cardenas Allwright
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Leading jockey Dick Cardenas managed only one winner on yesterday's mid-week programme at Caymanas Park, but this was enough to upstage arch-rival and reigning champion Dane Nelson, who was winless on the afternoon.
Cardenas, the 2011 champion, booted home 12-1 chance I'M ALLWRIGHT for owner-trainer Welsh Soutar in the fifth race for $250,000-$210,000 claimers over 1500 metres to move his tally to 88 - three clear of Nelson, who in turn is well clear of top apprentice O'Brien White on 41.
I'M ALLWRIGHT was always prominent as SACHIN (6-1) led at a fast clip ahead of 6-5 favourite I'VE BEEN CHOSEN on the rails and PRINCESS SALLEMA (5-1).
Although turning for home some three lengths clear of I'M ALLWRIGHT and I'VE BEEN CHOSEN, SACHIN soon came under pressure from I'M ALLWRIGHT, who swept through in midstretch, but barely lasted by a neck from the very fast-finishing outsider SISTA MARGARET (51-1), closing from well off the pace in a field of nine.
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY was declared a late non-starter at the gate, while the heavily backed second favourite, OVATION (8-5), failed to go the early pace and fell early in the straight, decking jockey Omar Walker.
With two months of the season remaining, Cardenas said the race for the title should be as intense as ever.
"My opponent is tough and it's going to get harder to secure choice rides at this stage of the season," said the quiet Panamanian. "To win the title I will just have to make full use of my opportunities, and with the help of my agent, we can deliver," he added.
Meanwhile, CLASSICAL TRAIN, running at odds of 8-1 with four-time champion Walker riding for owner-trainer Harry Parsard and STOP A GAP at 5-1, with young White aboard, scored mild upsets in the co-feature races on the eight-race programme.
go into top gear
STOP A GAP, who was unable to go the early pace as the grey ASIA'S DREAM (7-1) led her six opponents in the opening race over 1300 metres for the Cecil C. Charlton Memorial Cup, got into top gear approaching the distance. He swept past ASIA'S DREAM a furlong out to win by three lengths from the rank outsider MISS BOSS LADY (13-1), as the howling 1-2 favourite EASTWOOD finished last of the seven starters. STOP A GAP, who was recently claimed for $450,000 as a beaten favourite, is trained by Dennis Lee for his wife, Faye.
CLASSICAL TRAIN, on the other hand, made all impressively to win the Flossie McNeil Memorial Cup over 1200 metres (fillies and mares) by 21/2 lengths from HAILEY'S COMET (4-1) and 8-5 chance SOUND OF MIRACLE. The 3-2 favourite SHEBIZ hurt her chances by missing the break in a field of 13.