Front-running Commander Two snatches narrow win in Jamaica 2000 Guineas

By Lance Whittaker April 15, 2018
Commander Two in the Caymanas Park winners’ enclosure with jockey Javaneil Patterson and trainer Patrick Taylor. Commander Two in the Caymanas Park winners’ enclosure with jockey Javaneil Patterson and trainer Patrick Taylor.

The front-running 8-1 bet Commander Two snatched a narrow win in Sunday’s Jamaica 2000 Guineas at Caymanas Park, providing young rider Javaneil Patterson and trainer Patrick Taylor with first-time Classic wins.

 Commander Two held on stoutly to score by a neck over the fast-finishing 14-1 bet Western Legend and clocked one minute 40.00 seconds in the JA$3.5 Million (US$28,000) one-mile Classic for colts and geldings.  Without Exception (7-1) placed third and the 8-5 favourite Marquesas finished fourth, 3-1/4 lengths behind the winner.

 From the 15 box, the Von White-owned gelding Commander Two was sharply out of the starting gates and went for the lead immediately, stalked by Western Legend and Without Exception.

 Commander Two still led at the half-mile pressed by Without Exception on his inside and Western Legend on their heels, with second favourite Another Vigorous (2-1), Prince Consort Stakes winner El Profesor (7-1) and 99-1 outsider Outrageous Taj pacing along within striking distance behind the front group.

 Entering the homestretch for the two-furlong run to the finish, 25-year-old Patterson roused Commander Two to quicken into a clear lead.

 Without Exception and Western Legend – over two lengths in arrears -- were losing ground on the leader heading to the eighth pole but in deep stretch, Western Legend began closing the gap on the tiring Commander Two and in the end narrowly failed with his inside challenge under jockey Robert Halledeen, who had won Saturday’s 1000 Guineas aboard Disability Charm.

 Patterson -- with just 2-1/2 years’ experience race-riding – confidently asserted in his post-race interview that he executed his own race plan without instructions from trainer Taylor.

 “What is he going to tell me? I am the one exercising the horse and winning races on him,” Patterson told SportsMax.TV.

 Taylor concurred that there was no need to advise Patterson on the race strategy and suggested Commander Two was underestimated by fans going in.

 “His preparation was very great and his record showed he could win,” Taylor said.

 Commander Two now has four wins in nine career starts, all of those victories with Patterson in the saddle.

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