Sports

Unveiling the 'fashion'

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, January 12, 2018

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Following Fashionista's impressive victory in a maiden special weight event last Saturday, jockey Dick Cardenas believes the Anthony Nunes-conditioned bay filly can play a big role in the upcoming native-bred three-year-old Classic races, especially in the fillies' section.

The first time of asking on December 26, 2017, over six furlongs (1,200m), Fashionista, then ridden by Linton Steadman, flew out of the starting gates but ran green, finishing in third position by a length and a half behind Drone Strike and El Profesor. The final time was 1:13.1 and Fashionista clocked 1:13.2.

With that run under her girth and a little taste of competition, Nunes called upon the services of Cardenas. Fashionista went in front and made all the running to score by seven-and-a-half lengths in a blistering 1:05.4 for five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m) on what was a fast track on the day.

“I have been working this horse [ Fashionista] before, and when she made her debut I rode another horse [ Giaconda] in the same race. Fashionista finished third and I took fifth position in the race, but all along, I knew that she [ Fashionista] was the better horse.

“And so, this time around I told 'Baba' [Anthony Nunes] that I wanted to ride her [ Fashionista]. He said no problem, and she came home good in this race. From the start, I said I am going to go to the front and whatever happens just happens, but I knew that no one would catch us,” Cardenas said.

The distances will get longer as the native-bred three-year-old Classic races draw near, but Cardenas expects Fashionista to have no problems coping with the extended trips.

“I think she will improve little by little, and she's definitely going to be a better horse than what we saw here. She has the material to do it…she has Classic potential and I think that she can do it. I think she can be very competitive at the Classic level.

“She is a nice horse and she will improve. Yeah, we know that the races will get longer over time, but she can get a distance of ground. She can do it,” insisted Cardenas.

It was an even start for all the runners, but the speedy Fashionista jumped into the lead after a couple of strides and immediately began to open up on the field, running the half-mile (800m) turn, chased by the trio of Aria (Omar Walker) on the inside rails, A Seh Soup (Hakeem Pottinger) in between horses, and El Profesor (Anthony Thomas) on the outside.

Using hands and knees coming into the lane, Cardenas coaxed his mount forward, then cracked the whip a few times to remind Fashionista that the race was not over. The bay filly by Liquidity Mayken Joy accelerated and powered home to score easily over El Profesor, Breezy Adlih (Linton Steadman) and Aria, in that order.

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