Miniature Man uncorks big win Jamaica 2000 Guineas

By Lance Whittaker June 05, 2021

The improving gelding Miniature Man recorded a booming win in the Jamaica 2000 Guineas on Saturday for owner Elizabeth DaCosta as her son Jason DaCosta logged his first Classic triumph at Caymanas Park.

Ridden by Panama-born jockey Dick Cardenas, the 2-1 second favourite Miniature Man fought off Nuclear Noon’s stout homestretch challenge to win the JA$3.75 million (US$25,195) Colts and Geldings Guineas by a length and a quarter just an hour after Trainer Ian Parsard also landed his first Classic victory with She’s a Wonder in the 1000 Guineas.

For Jason DaCosta, the Guineas win honoured his late father, 18-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, who died in March.

“It means the world, this one is dedicated to Dad,” said previously US-based DaCosta, who has returned home to take charge of his father’s barn of racehorses.

“This is a special one,” he added, reflecting on a tough year for the DaCosta family. His uncle, Elizabeth DaCosta’s brother Wayne McCulloch, had also passed away the week before Wayne’s death in late March.

Hyped as the absorbing rematch of the May 8 Kingston Graded Stakes dead-heat between Miniature Man and 2020 Champion two-year-old Further and Beyond, the 2000 Guineas was contextually anticlimactic as the 3-5 favourite Further and Beyond hardly threatened and finish third.

Down the backstretch, the 9-2 bet Billy Whizz, one of five DaCosta entries in the six-horse field, set the early 23.2 and 46.3 fractions, chased by 66-1 outsider Regal and Royal and Nuclear Noon (4-1).

The pace quickened leaving the half-mile with Nuclear Noon and Regal and Royal on the heels of the front-running Billy Whizz while Miniature Man gained rapidly in fifth and Further and Beyond looked troubled about eight lengths off the lead in seventh place.

Four-time champion jockey Dane Nelson roused Further and Beyond for a rapid move into third coming off the final bend but the pair of Miniature Man and Nuclear Noon had already escaped into a clear advantage.

That duel was riveting until Miniature Man edged away in deep stretch for the win, his third in a row and fourth in nine lifetime starts. Miniature Man clocked one minute 39 and 3/5ths for the eight-furlong win.

“It was a good race. The horse on the inside (Nuclear Noon) was a tough horse but my horse never gave up,” Cardenas said after his third Jamaica 2000 Guineas victory, adding to Mark My World (2010) and Uncle Donny (2012).

Earlier, She’s a Wonder delivered a flawless win in the 1000 Guineas for Fillies, scoring by 7-1/4 lengths as the 1-2 favourite for jockey Reyan Lewis’s first Classic success.

“It feels good to win a Classic at my age and I am thankful,” the 21-year-old Lewis said.

After a brief tussle with the 99-1 shot Silver Hawk early down the backstretch, She’s a Wonder cruised into a commanding lead and used splits of 23.0 and 45.2 to enter the homestretch more than six lengths in front of the 2-1 second favourite Secret Identity and Sure Curlin (48-1). In the end, the 7-1 bet Amy the Butcher (7-1) snatched second from Secret Identity.

Owned by Henry Pratt and the trainer’s wife Karen Parsard, the unchallenged She’s a Wonder clocked 1:41 and 3/5ths while stretching her winning streak to four races.

“She is a fantastic horse to train. We knew coming in that everything was perfect,” Parsard declared after the unchallenged win.

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