Edited from a Churchill release
The Churchill Downs barn that houses the stable of trainer Steve Margolis looks very much as it did a week ago--with one notable difference. Draped over a sawhorse outside the barn is a blue horse blanket that carries the Breeders' Cup logo and bears the inscription that notes it belongs to the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
The horse that earned the blanket and the title is Satish Sanan and Joe and John Iracane's Cajun Beat, a 3-year-old gelding who turned in a sizzling performance in winning Saturday's Sprint at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The son of Grand Slam is now getting some deserved rest after he ran the third-fastest six furlongs in Sprint history and provided Margolis with the biggest victory of his career and his first success in the Breeders' Cup.
"It was the thrill of a lifetime," said Margolis. "I was very emotional. All of the guys that work for me; John and Joe; and Satish and his whole family have all just been wonderful to me. It was great. We were hoping he'd run big like he was training, but I think he exceeded what we thought. He really stepped up and ran a huge race."
Margolis, who is in his third year as a head trainer after coming to Churchill Downs as an assistant to trainer Stanley Hough, is giving Cajun Beat a few days off before any firm decisions are made on the future for the stable star. But Margolis said a trip back to Santa Anita for the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) on Dec. 26--the first race of Santa Anita's Strub Series for 4-year-olds--is one option.
"There's a possibility of going back out there for the Malibu, or there's a couple of good stakes down at Gulfstream," said Margolis. "We might look at the possibility of Dubai down the road." Any future plans for Cajun Beat depend upon how he comes out of his career-best effort in the Sprint, but Margolis said everything looks good in the first few days after the race. "Right now he seems fine," said Margolis. "We'll just give him a few more days off. It was an easy ship, but at the same time, he ran hard. So we'll just give him a few easy days."
Margolis has had Cajun Beat in his barn since late May, after the horse was transferred to his care in Kentucky after a rare poor effort in the mud in the $100,000-added Matt Winn Handicap at Churchill Downs. He was previously been trained by Cam Gambolati, who saddled Spend A Buck to win the 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Cajun Beat blossomed in the late summer and fall and earned a spot in the Sprint, with the coaxing of Sanan and the Iracanes, with an impressive win in the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park.
"He's an easy horse to train, but he doesn't carry a lot of weight so you have to space his races out pretty good," Margolis said. "He runs hard every time, so you want to give him the best chance to recover."