Anthony Nunes, Dick Cardenas dominate Labour Day card
10 punters win over $1 million in Ketch 9 wager
Amy The Butcher wins the Labour Day Trophy with Dick cardenas in the saddle. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)

In his quest for a fourth-straight championship title, champion trainer Anthony “Baba” Nunes saddled three winners to make inroads in Jason DaCosta’s lead on the nine-race programme which ended the three consecutive days of race meets at Caymanas Park on Monday.

Nunes started the day with $18,093,680 in earnings, some $5,175,375 behind DaCosta, who had $23,269,055 in stakes earned to his name. However, with Nunes’ three-timer, the champion trainer trimmed off just over $1.4 million from the lead held by DaCosta, who was winless on the day. Over the three days of consecutive racing, Nunes saddled four winners and DaCosta three.

While the attention was fixed on the Nunes-DaCosta battle, former champion jockey Panamanian Dick Cardenas was blazing in the saddle with a four-timer.

Nunes and Cardenas teamed up to win two races, including Amy The Butcher, who won the $850,000 Labour Day Trophy feature a four-year-old and upwards (non-winners of four) event going seven furlongs (1,400m).

Amy The Butcher (Deputy GlittersAsia’s Dream), tracked the leaders from close range down the backstretch before hitting the front full of running at the top of the lane, running out an easy winner by a length and a quarter in a time of 1:28.0. T Brady (Chris Mamdeen) finished second and Prince Marshall (Oneil Mullings) third.

Nunes’ and Cardenas’ other winner was Sudden Flight in the fourth race over the straight course at five furlongs. Sudden Flight got the better of Casual Charm by 2 ¼ lengths and finished in a time of 1:00.4.

The champion trainer had earlier opened the programme with Sparkle Diamond in a three-year-old and upward claiming ($1m-$800,000) race over six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m). Sparkle Diamond was ridden to victory by Shane Ellis, and was, as expected, claimed from the race.

Meanwhile, Cardenas won the seventh and eighth races aboard She’s Fantastic and Yellowstone, respectively.

Trained by Dennis Thwaites, She’s Fantastic easily defeated rivals by 7 ¼ lengths in a three-year-old maiden special weight over five furlongs round, recording a time of 1:02.0.

Yellowstone, trained by Alford Brown, was also an impressive winner by 7 lengths, clocking 1:08.0 for five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m) in a three-year-old (non-two) event.

While Cardenas ruled on Labour Day, over the course of the three racing days champion Anthony Thomas jumped back into the lead among the jockeys with a triple on Saturday (May 21) and another three-timer on Sunday. Thomas’ main protagonist at this time, Dane Dawkins, rode one winner over the course of the three days. Dawkins did not ride on Saturday. Dawkins’ sole winner was Rum Puncher for trainer Richard Azan.

It was mandatory payout day in the popular Ketch 9 wager, and 10 punters were successful in spotting all nine winners. Each of these 10 punters took home $1,o87,740. The longest shot on the programme was Doctor Grey in the third event, who won at odds of 7-1.

The toast of the jockeys on Labour Day is Dick Cardenas with four winners.
Owner of Amy The Butcher, Debbie Smith Stephenson poses with her winning horse along with groom Stephen Smith (right), while at left is Stephen Hanna.

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