Alacrann triumphs in the mud
Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Closing rapidly from last position midway the last furlong. ALACRANN, offering odds of 3-1 with André Martin aboard, won the 10th running of the $3.6 million Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres, race number two in the lucrative Supreme Ventures 2-Y-O Series, at muddy Caymanas Park yesterday.
The previously unbeaten pair of COME DANCE WITH ME under champion jockey Dane Nelson from the Dwight Chen stables and POLLY B, ridden by Dick Cardenas for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, had a ding dong battle for favouritism leading up to post time, with COME DANCE WITH ME at odds of 4-5 selling a handful more tickets than POLLY B, the even money second favourite.
The close betting was merely a prelude to the battle royal between the two principals for the lead.
Both engaged in a blistering neck and neck duel clear of rivals throughout the backstretch and into the straight, before the filly COME DANCE WITH ME, responding to a bustling ride from Nelson, eventually gained the ascendancy a furlong out. But she was used up in that terrific speed duel, paving the way for the fast-finishing pair of DREAMCOMETRUE (18-1) and ALACRANN, closing widest of all in the last 100 metres, to win going away.
ALACRANN, who went on to beat DREAMCOMETRUE by 21/2 lengths with COME DANCE WITH ME another three lengths away third, was notching his second win from four starts, losing his two previous races to both COME DANCE WITH ME in the Cash Pot Only One For Me Trophy over 1200 metres (second) on October 20 and to POLLY B over 1300 metres on November 8 when placing third.
But the chestnut colt by Traditional out of Maria's Appeal was scoped after his last raced and it was discovered he had bled.
"As a result he was administered Lasix for this race and I was hopeful he would deliver over the longer trip", said an elated 'Baba' Nunes who bypassed yesterday's big Champions Stakes meet in Trinidad (where he had horses on the programme) to support ALACRANN.
"Although I thought he had a better chance in this race, I didn't think he would have won this easily. But the top two ran themselves into the ground and simply played into the hands of my horse.
"I have now won this race three times and is looking forward to winning the third and final leg in the series over a mile on Boxing Day", he concluded. ALACRANN is owned and bred by Brian Murray.
Meanwhile, Dane Nelson all but secured a third consecutive jockeys' title after booting home five winners from the first six races on the card to move to 103 - 10 clear of arch rival Cardenas who rode two winners in even-money favourite ALSO CORRECT and LOVETTA JONES at 6-1.