Pay The Preacher, ridden Saturday by Cornelio Velasquez, outlasted favorite and defending champion Best Of The Rest for the length victory in the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap.
The 4-year-old son of Groomstick, trained by Robert Hale, went wire-to-wire and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44 4/5 and paid $10.20, $4.40 and $3.60. The gelding now has a career record of 6-4-4 in 16 starts with earnings of $186,439, with $60,000 coming in Saturday's victory.
Best Of The Rest, with Jerry Bailey aboard, made his first start since the Cornhusker Mile on July 6 and had dead aim on the winner down the lane, but settled for second and paid $3.20 and $2.60. Built Up, with Julio Garcia up, helped set the early pace before finishing third and paid $6.60.
Owned by Rosamond Davis, Pay The Preacher notched his second stakes victory at Calder. Robert Hale trains him.
"This horse likes to run on the lead and the track was playing in our favor today," said Velasquez. "He went right to the front and I got him to go some easy fractions."Castlebrook Draws Off in Shocker Handicap
Castlebrook, ridden by Velasquez, swept to the lead on the far turn and drew off for the 3 ½-length victory over Banderia in Saturday's $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap at Calder Race Course.
Running for the first time since a second place effort in the Golden Or on Aug. 11, the 5-year-old daughter of Montbrook covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45 4/5 and paid $9.40, $4.80 and $2.10. Banderia, with Manoel Cruz aboard, rallied from sixth to take the place spot and she paid $3.60 and $2.10. Coolbythepool, looking for a repeat in the Shocker T., was sent off as the 6-to-5 favorite but finished third under Jerry Bailey and paid $2.10.
Owned by Ione & Herb Elkins and trained by William Kaplan, Castlebrook pocketed $60,000 to increase her lifetime earnings $439,380. The win was her 12th in 39 lifetime starts with all of her victories coming at Calder in just 26 tries.
"She ran a super race," said Kaplan. "The other filly (Multiplicity) got off bad and it's a shame she didn't get to run. I thought she was going to be salty. Castlebrook was unbelievable. He (Cornelio Velasquez) worked her twice and got to know her well. He said she was a monster and he had horse left down the stretch."