Nelson sparks with four-timer
EDMONTON, Alberta (CMC):
Jamaican Dane Nelson enjoyed his best day of the near three-month old Northlands Park season when he rode four winners in a brilliant outing at the western Canada racing oval here Friday.
With Friday's four-timer, Nelson leapt to within one of second-place Keishan Balgobin on 24 wins in the Northlands Park standings.
However, Trinidadian Balgobin reiterated his excellent form this season when he produced a double stakes win among a three-timer on Saturday to move four clear of Nelson.
Nelson, 32, has had a decent run during the current campaign. He picked off victories on Friday's nine-race card with favourite Holiday Maker in the day's opener, in race four with odds-on bet Traffic Ticket, aboard another favourite Big Bad Janine in race five before rounding off his success with 3-1 chance Just Norman in race six.
Six-time reigning champion Barbadian Rico Walcott won twice on the day's card with favourite Bootlegger Al in race two and 5-1 bet Zap Town in race five, to move to 59 wins.
It was Nelson, however, who upstaged Walcott, to temporarily halt his rival's domination of the season.
He opened his account over six furlongs when he brought five-year-old bay mare Holiday Maker with a strong stretch run to beat the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by 2-1/2 lengths.
Nelson trailed the six-horse field as Eltoninadress and Caro's Song produced the early splits but roused the mare at the top of the stretch and wore down the leaders steadily.
His second victory came in another six-furlong contest when he paired with three-year-old chestnut gelding Traffic Ticket to trounce the three-year-old and upward maidens by 1-1/4 lengths.
Seven-to-one chance Bring Cash led through the half in 46.63 seconds before Nelson brought Traffic Ticket from off the pace, slipped through a seam along the rails to get the better of the late going.
Nelson then had things all his way with four-year-old filly Big Bad Janine, making all the running to dismiss the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by a length going six furlongs.
And he posted his third consecutive win on the day's card when he carried five-year-old chestnut gelding Just Norman gate-to-wire to get the better of the three-year-old and upwards by 4-1/2 lengths in a mile trip.