Sports

Out of the shadows

Sotomayor returns to the winners' enclosure

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, April 17, 2018



Since winning the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes on December 26, 2016, beating no other than She's A Maneater , the Anthony Nunes-trained Sotomayor has not been able to live up to the high expectations that comes with the title of being crowned champion two-year-old.

Sotomayor was the winter book favourite for his series of Classic races last year but the grey colt failed to ignite any sparks other than his second-place finish in the Jamaica Derby, losing by a length and a quarter to She's A Maneater who went on to win the Triple Crown, Superstakes and Diamond Mile.

After his fifth-place finish in the Prime Minister's Stakes over 10 furlongs (2,000m) on August 7, 2017, Sotomayor got injured and was taken out of competitive racing for a while.

The Traditional - Runaway Julie colt returned eight months after to compete in a six-furlong (1,200m) event on March 7. Sotomayor was then noted as making late headway in the straight to finish fourth.

Nunes brought his charge to the races two weeks later to participate in a nine-furlong and 25 yards (1,820m) race and Sotomayor, who was all the rage in the betting that day, was just beaten by short head by Uncle Vinnie in 1:58.3. That was the clearest signal yet that he was returning to his usual self.

Last Saturday Sotomayor came alive, and with Dick Cardenas in the saddle he was a winner by over two lengths in a Restricted Allowance event for native-bred four-year-olds and upward non-winners of three other than over a mile (1,600m).

Surprisingly, Sotomayor went straight to the lead after the start and held his position over Storm Valley (Doushane Gordon) and Queen Of Bagdad (Gary Richards).

Leaving the six-furlong (1,200m) point and heading towards the five (1,000m), Storm Valley came up on the inside rails and took over the lead from Sotomayor, but that was just for a furlong (200m) as Sotomayor regained the ascendency going around the half mile (800m).

Sotomayor turned for home looking strong, kept up his work, and won by two-and-three-quarters of a length ahead of Simply Outrageous (Anthony Thomas), Storm Valley and Biblical Legend (Oneil Beckford), in that order.

The final time recorded by Sotomayor was 1:40.1.

“The performance was pretty good. Sotomayor is eligible for the non-winners three group but we took the chance and ran him in the non-winners of three other than group, as we thought he has the potential to win. He is a fit horse now and we wanted to get a win for the owners,” Nunes told the Supreme Racing Guide.

“We wanted him to break well and Dick (Cardenas) made the decision and moved him up to the lead. He is still eligible for non-winners of three other than and we will try and find a race there for him,” Nunes informed.

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