Panamanian Journeyman Starts Fresh at Hawthorne

By Rick Albright, JockeyTalk360.com When the gates flew back just before 2 p.m. in Chicago for the first race of the 2015 Spring meeting all the jockeys were bracing for the chilly run down the backstretch. It was a whole new experience for accomplished rider Dick Cardenas.  Overcast skies replaced sunny ones, tall industrial smokestacks replaced overhanging Palms and temperatures in the single digits were far from the balmy climes of Caymanas Park. This 30 year old journeyman had 500 plus winners in just over six years at that premiere racecourse located in Portmore, Jamaica. He was the winner of the 2011 riding title there. Other highlights of his time in Jamaica include his Triple Crown feat aboard MARK MY WORD in 2010 and winning six consecutive races on a program in September 2011. He also had a second Derby winner in the front running outsider TECHNOMOTO for trainer Anthony Nunes, and Gold Cup wins aboard HAIL THE GENIUS and SAINT CECELIA. Previous to that stint in Jamaica Cardenas was an apprentice in Panama, a nation that is known for its export of fine riding talent, where he rode just over 300 winners. One of the people that has influenced his career the most is his fellow countryman Fernando Jara, a rider who has had proven success in the United States. Jara had the winning ride in the 2006...

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The Westies

by Gary West Yes, it’s the sunshine state, better known for bikinis than black ties, but for this special evening in Hallandale Beach, people will pull out their formal attire, men their tuxedos and women their gowns. Corks will pop, champagne flow and glasses clink Saturday. Kudos and praise will be thrown around like Mardi Gras beads, camera shutters will clatter like cicadas and Ken Ramsey might hand out something red emblazoned with an “R” as he recites the names of all the winners sired by Kitten’s Joy. Bob Baffert will quip, Cot Campbell joke and Jeannine Edwards sparkle...

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