Under an unaccustomed ride from veteran jockey Ricky Jadoo, Officer Ike recorded an upset win at odds of 14/1 to take yesterday's 1,200-metre race for two-year-old and over horses rated 85-65.
That win gave leading owner Shivam Maharaj a double on the card after he had scored earlier with Chief's Nephew in the third race. Officer Ike scored by three-quarter length from Nettoyer, Slippery Sam and Nakita in a good 1:13.21
In the seventh of eight races at Santa Rosa Park yesterday, Jadoo, who normally has his mounts at the head of affairs, tracked the leaders early.
Creole Loan Shark led the way in the nine-horse field from his one-gate with Perfection Plus, Slippery Sam and Office Ike following with second favourite Nettoyer at the back of the field. Loan Shark continue to lead the way, with Officer Ike five wide on this outside looming threateningly under Jadoo, and Believe It Or Not further out looking dangerous also.
Nettoyer was catching up with the leaders approaching the hometurn.
Entering the homestretch, Officer Ike took over the running from Slippery Sam with Nettoyer getting a lovely run up the rails and looking threatening. However, Officer Ike, under a determined Jadoo pump kept on to hold off Nettoyer and Slippery Sam with Nakita running on to grab fourth.
In the day's opener, heavy favourite, Onefortheroad gave his trainer Derick Mosca a flyer by winning from stablemate It Is Alleged, The Right Time and Sassy Taste in the 1,100-metre event.
The race was run off on a main track that was made sloppy because of early morning showers before the race. And the victory brought Mosca within five of John O'Brien, who holds the lead in the Trainers Standings (wins) but was winless yesterday.
In this event, Mosca's My Ari set out to make all the running, but was not allowed to slip his field on a track that favoured speed.
Stablemate and 2/5 favourite Onefortheroad collared him entering the homestretch and ran out a comfortable winner from a fast-finishing first timer, It Is Alleged.
In the second race, owner/trainer Harold Chadee's Bonnie followed up her good success last raceday under an excellent ride by Kerron Khelawan by taking this event from Mary's Girl Chile and In Joey's Honour. Young Kerron was passed by Brian Harding aboard Mary's Girl Chile, but did not panic and youth prevailed in the end.
The youngster balanced his horse and urged his mount past Harding's in the homestretch to score going away in the end.
In the third race, the speedy Chief's Nephew, owned by Shivam Maharaj, was settled behind the fleet-footed A Great Millennium, who flew out of the gates and opened up a nine-length lead on his field, but started to shorten approaching the homestretch. This allowed Chief's Nephew on the rails a clear passage.
He took advantage of the shortest way home – the inside – and shot clear to win readily from the fast-finishing Caro's Legacy, with Invictus and Burst of Energy– who ambled out of the gates but finished with purpose–completing the superfecta.
And in the 1,300-metre event for West Indian-bred juveniles, trainer Glen Mohammed's Black Pepper owned by Dr Ravi Ramjanack scored a minor upset at 9/1 under leading apprentice Dillon Khelawan to turn back champion trainer John O'Brien, who has been unstoppable in the last three juvenile events. O'Brien, who was bidding for a beaver-trick in the juvenile races with entrants Gold Dust and favourite Hyat Princess was beaten into second and third with Measured Response and Heidi's Tzippi completing the Hi-5.
This win ended Khelawan's three-kilo claim, and he is now a two-kilo claiming apprentice. The victory also sealed Black Pepper's ticket for the December 26 St Ann's Stakes
And the photo-finish judge failed to separate trainer Maniram 'Boboy' Maharaj's Golden Flight and trainer Jose William-Samaroo's Wonderful Whirl in the sixth race, calling it a dead-heat.
That win gave Samaroo a double on the card as he had won earlier with Asia in the fifth race for West Indian-bred three-year-old and over maidens.
Racing action continues on next Saturday, which will be the penultimate race day of the 2012 season which could bring out Turf Classic winner D'Coachman over 1,600 metres on the turf.