ROBERT Halledeen extended his rich vein of form at Caymanas Park yesterday, copping two winners on the trophyless 10-race card, including aboard Gary Subratie's American-bred One Don in the top-rated Restricted Overnight Allowance event.
Halledeen, who won some 28 races at the backend of last year and was instrumental in Anthony Nunes retaining his trainer's' title, has brought over that form, signalling some semblance of intent to challenge for top jockey honours this year.
The double completed four victories across the two days, resulting in Halledeen joining Dane Dawkins in pole position early on the standings with seven wins apiece. Tevin Foster is their closest pursuer in third on three wins.
Meanwhile, the day's top-rated event, which carried a $1-million purse, was restricted to horses that have never won at the Overnight Allowance level, and presented the perfect opportunity for One Don to really underline his credentials.
That he did.
The four-year-old chestnut colt was a bit slow getting into stride from the number four starting box as Unknown Soldier (Aaron Chatrie), Raw Liquid (Roger Hewitt) and Fearless Champion (Tevin Foster) jostled for the lead shortly after the start. And after sorting themselves out, it was Fearless Champion who went about setting the early fractions, opening up a two-length lead leaving the five and approaching the half mile, where Halledeen got One Don down into contention.
By the time they left the three-furlong point to straighten up for home, Halledeen had One Don ranging up on Fearless Champion's shoulders and the two briefly matched strides before the foreigner, under strong urging, exploded and pulled away at the furlong pole to win by three and a quarter lengths.
Fearless Champion stayed on for second, with Unknown Soldier and Let Him Fly (Ramon Napare) completing the frame.
The Oakridge Farm-owned One Don covered the distance in 1:13.1 minutes, behind splits of 22.4 and 46.3 seconds.
Halledeen also won the sixth event aboard the Steven Todd-trained Chrisanli in a commanding post-to-post effort, blowing away rivals by six and a half lengths.
Trainer Jason DaCosta topped his peers with two winners on the card. The impressive She's My Destiny gave champion jockey Anthony Thomas his first win of the season as she romped the second event, while the expensive Outbidder, bought for $6.1 million in Yearling Sale, completed DaCosta's double with a facile victory in the curtain call event.