Rodney G. Lundock's homebred Supervisor put his strong late kick to good use when he rallied along the rail to win the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course by a neck over a determined B. B. Best.
B.B. Best, the 4-5 post time favorite, was closing quickly but ran out of ground.
Manny Tortora trains Supervisor, a Skip Trial gelding ridden by Aurelio Toribio Jr. He covered the 1 1/16-mile distance over a "good" track in 1:46.94 and paid $25.20, $5 and $3. B.B. Best returned $2.80 and $2.40, and pacesetter Apalachian Thunder paid $3.40.
Chino Charlie broke down on the backstretch while pressing pace on the inside and fell. Supervisor was forced to steady to avoid the fallen horse.
"This horse runs very good coming from off the pace," Toribio said. "We were sitting back there getting a perfect trip when (Chino Charlie) went down. We got around him pretty smoothly and had a clean trip from there."
The Spend A Buck was the second win in eight starts this year for Supervisor and his fifth victory in 40 races overall. He picked up $60,000 for Saturday's win to push his earnings to $297,479.
Runner-up B. B. Best, winner of the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes during last year's Festival of the Sun, finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Apalachian Thunder, who established fractions of :24 1/5, :47 2/5 and 1:13 1/5 and still led by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go.
Lundock said his wife bought Supervisor's dam, Silver Doe, for their 25th wedding anniversary. "She wanted a gray mare by Silver Buck and got her when she was carrying this horse."
He said Supervisor was claimed in New York as a 3-year-old for $75,000. "She wanted him back. It took us a year, but we were able to buy him back privately."
Supervisor was developed at Calder by Tortora and later went on to finish fifth in the 2003 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) prior to being claimed.