Take It Like a Man gave his owners their first stakes victory, and a big one at that, when he rallied from off the pace to take the $400,000 Researcher Stakes for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Sept. 21 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Luis Saez for Keeneland-based trainer Kellyn Gorder, Take It Like a Man won for the sixth time in 12 career starts. The Kentucky-bred colt by Run Away and Hide out of the Notebook mare Backatem won an Ellis Park allowance race in his previous start Aug. 11.
Gorder had cross-entered Take It Like a Man in the Gallant Bob Stakes (gr. III) at Parx Racing earlier in the day but opted for the seven-furlong Researcher around two turns at Charles Town.
"I think he's at his best at seven furlongs," Gorder said. "I had never run him two turns but he takes the turns well on the five-eighths-mile Keeneland training track. I didn't want him to be in the back and have to catch a lot of mud, but when the pace was going quick on the front-end I thought we'd have a good shot."
Mongolian Saturday and Whiskey Romeo dueled through early fractions of :22.88 for the opening quarter-mile and :46.65 for a half-mile on a sloppy track. Take It Like a Man made a bid from fifth on the far turn and grabbed the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.16.
He then slowly drew away from Mongolian Saturday to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:26.27 for seven furlongs. Mongolian Saturday had 1 3/4 lengths over favored Bond Vigilante, who rallied from seventh to grab third.
Take It Like a Man paid $16.20 to win and capped a $229.80 exacta.
Take it Like a Man, bred by Bates, Kirk, McDonald, Riordan, Shaw, and Sones, was one of three horses purchased at auction by Lynn and Lola Cash in partnership with Chad Cash, Colin Cash, and Nathan Outhier. He is the partners' first stakes winner.
"It's exhilarating," Lola Cash said. "Each time we see him, he's bigger and better. He's coming of age. We owe a lot of thanks to Kellyn."