Local favorite Cash Rules was a popular winner of the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 13, his seventh lifetime victory at Calder Casino & Race Course and first in a graded stakes event (VIDEO).
The public could see just one horse after the scratch of Gourmet Dinner, and sent Cash Rules off as the 2-5 choice in a field of six for the 1 1/16-mile test on the main track. Luis Saez rode the 5-year-old to victory by three parts of a length over Ducduc for owner/breeder Larry Fugate and trainer David Fawkes. The final time was 1:46.99 on a track upgraded to good after being sloppy earlier on the program.
Cash Rules won his third consecutive race, all in stakes at Calder.
Fugate bred Cash Rules in Florida in partnership with Marshall and Suzanne Novak. The bay gelding is by Peace Rules—Cindy's Sonnet, by Silver Buck.
Cash Rules raced uncovered in third about four lengths behind early leader Decisive Moment, who maintained a head advantage over Two is to Many while pressured through swift fractions of :23.42, :46.87, and 1:12.28.
"I knew those two horses had speed and were going to the front," Saez said. "So my plan this time was to wait for the stretch, and everything was perfect."
Cash Rules advanced on the pacesetters rounding the turn to take the lead on the outside near the quarter pole. He edged away to a 1 1/2-length advantage at the eighth pole but was fully extended while tiring in the final sixteenth to stave off Ducduc, ridden by Fernando Jara.
"When that other horse came to him, he wasn't tired, but when he gets by himself, he sort of waits," Saez explained. "But once he felt that other horse coming, he went on again."
Ducduc, who angled to the rail for the drive and finished willingly, was 11 lengths clear of the Flatter This and Antonio Gallardo in third. Fair Whit, Two is to Many, and Decisive Moment completed the order.
All of Cash Rules' victories and all but two starts at Gulfstream Park have come at Calder for Fawkes. He has won four stakes overall at Calder and was coming off a head victory in the Darn That Alarm Sept. 1.
Cash Rules banked $61,380 for the victory and has now earned $274,641 while posting an overall mark of 7-3-2 in 14 starts.
The winner carried top weight of 120 pounds and paid $2.80, $2.40, $2.10. Ducduc returned $4.40 and $3.40 and was part of a $10.60 exacta. Flatter This paid $3.80.
Csaba, cross-entered in the Tropical Park Derby later on the card, was scratched.