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Anthony Thomas listens – Dwight Chen

Praises young apprentice for ride on Chace The Great, next the Diamond Mile

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer writer

Friday, November 17, 2017

After failing to secure the services of Dane Nelson to partner Chace The Great in the 29th running of the $2 million Glen Mills Invitational Sprint Championship last Saturday on the Burger King-sponsored Super Day, trainer Dwight Chen said that he was confident apprentice Anthony Thomas could get the job done in the six-furlong (1,200m) event.

Thomas, he said after the race, “rode a brilliant race” aboard the four-year-old chestnut gelding, who powered home past rivals on the inside rails in the Graded Stakes event by a length in a very good 1:11.4, sending a loud signal to contenders in the December 2 Diamond Mile.

Traditional Prince (Aaron Chatrie) finished second ahead of Money Magnet (Dane Dawkins) in third.

It was a performance which confirmed the brilliant Chace The Great's rise to the top of the present sprinting ladder.

“Well, actually, Dane [Nelson] was supposed to ride Chace The Great and he ended up deciding that he was going to ride Buzz Nightmare instead, and that decision left us to find another rider for my horse.

“So I went for a jockey who knows him ( Chace The Great), and the only other person I have confidence in was apprentice Anthony Thomas, who is an up-and-coming jockey. Thomas is that type of rider who listens to instructions, and I went for him and he got the job done today (Saturday) and I am happy for it,” Chen said.

Chace The Great got a decent break out of the starting gates, but was held up and raced somewhat off the lead in mid-pack as Talented Tony K (Linton Steadman) headed a group of five horses vying for the lead in the three-year-olds and upward event.

Chace The Great, who broke from the number three post, was kept by the always confident Thomas on the inside rails throughout the race and began to round horses approaching the final turn.

The Greatness offspring hugged the inside rails, then cut the turn sharply, and took dead aim at the leaders at the top of the straight.

Turning for home with several horses spread out across the racetrack, Chace The Great, who had taken the shortest route into the lane, was asked to run by Thomas, and he answered by pulling away from rivals inside the last furlong (200m) for a famous and his best win in the end.

“I told the jockey (Anthony Thomas) to go for it, don't get squeezed out at the half-mile or anything, and he did a good job there, because he [ Chace The Great] is going to give him a kick at the two-furlong marker and he will just find his way home from there.

“The plan had worked out because Chace The Great did find that kick which took him home in the end,” Chen said.