PHOENIX, Arizona, (CMC):
Veteran Jamaican rider Andrew Ramgeet piloted favourite Chief Cicatriz to another domination of the US$75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup over the weekend, as the five-year-old gelding successfully defended his title in the feature at Turf Paradise.
Going six furlongs for the four-year-olds and upward, the hot 4-5 bet easily dealt with the early threat from 4-1 chance Chief Lion, to reach the wire 4-1/2 lengths clear in a quick time of one minute, 7.95 seconds.
The victory followed last year’s triumph under Daniel Vergara when, as a four-year-old, Chief Cicatriz made every step of the running.
Ramgeet broke the Shawn Davis-trained gelding smartly to duel with Chief Lion through the first quarter run in 21.56 seconds and the half-mile in 43.11.
Once in the stretch, however, Chief Cicatriz quickly put away Chief Lion to dominate the final running and reach the wire unchallenged, to take his seventh win in nine starts.
Leadem in Ken, who trailed early on, ran on for second while Southern California held for third but Chief Lion ran out of steam and finished fourth.
The victory was one of two on the eight-race card for Ramgeet, after he had earlier won race two with 2-1 choice Be My Shadow. He made all the running with the six-year-old chestnut gelding to trounce the four-year-olds and upward by four lengths.