Cardenas stars with a three-timer at Caymanas Park
PANAMANIAN Jamaica-based jockey Dick Cardenas is probably in the best form of his riding career, as he rode a three-timer to highlight the trophy less 11-race programme at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Cardenas, who rode four winners last Saturday, opened the day aboard the Spencer Chung-trained Jovoun The Master, who produced a gate-to-wire performance to win by an increasing seven lengths from Jessie James (Richard Lunan up) and Aquilo (Paul Francis) going over 1,400 metres in a time of 1:27:3 minutes.
Cardenas' success continued in the third race when he won aboard Natashadonplay for trainer Uton Stewart in a driving finish to beat Bigman Ting (Jemar Jackson) and Rough Patrick (Shane Ellis) by one-and-a-quarter lengths over 1,400 metres.
He then completed his triple on Lovetta Jones in the fifth race going over 1,000 metres straight. The six-year-old bay mare was one-and-quarter lengths in front of Dr Blair (Paul Ramsey in the saddle) and Golden Opportunity (Ruja Lahoe) in a fast 58:4 seconds. Lovetta Jones is trained by Wayne DaCosta, who saddled two winners on the day.
With those three winners, Cardenas (66) has now extended his lead to five wins over the two-time defending champion Dane Nelson (61) in the race for the jockeys championship. Nelson could only manage one winner, the Dwight Chen-trained Hailey's Comet in the day's fourth race over 1,000 metres round.
DaCosta's other winner was Rio Corbe, (Shamaree Muir) in the highest quality race on the programme, an Overnight Allowance event for three-year-old and upwards going over 1,000 metres round.
The down-in-class Rio Cobre (Chelsey Cat-Chelsey's Finest by Crafty Friend) disputed the lead with Runjohnny Run (Sadiki Blake astride) for most of the way before he drew away at the 200-metre pole and although shortening a bit in the final 50 metres, the six-year-old gelding had done enough to hold off the fast-finishing pair of the 1-2 favourite Campesino, with Percy Williams, and Fierceandfabulous (Shane Ellis) by half length.
Owned by Elizabeth DaCosta and Derrick Smith, Rio Cobre covered the distance in a quick 59:3 seconds after setting splits of 22.1 and 46.3 for the half mile.
Racing continues on Saturday with the running of the Teremoto Trophy.