It's a Bird outfights Gottcha Gold to take the Spend a Buck.

It's a Bird outfights Gottcha Gold to take the Spend a Buck.

Jim Lisa Photos

It's a Bird Gets Super Spend a Buck Win

Edmund Gann's 5-year-old wins a head-bobbing decision over favored Gottcha Gold.

It's a Bird won a head-bobbing decision over favored Gottcha Gold to capture an exciting renewal of the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a head at Calder Race Course Oct. 17.

It's a Bird, ridden by Jermaine Bridgmohan on the outside, and Gottcha Gold, with Chuck Lopez aboard at the rail, fought head-and-head for the final furlong of the 1 1/16-mile Spend a Buck, with It's a Bird just prevailing over the 13-10 choice. It was  three-quarters of a length back to the third-place finisher Dream Maestro. The final time was 1:46.40 on a fast track.

Owned by Edmund Gann, It's a Bird earned his third consecutive win since being transferred to the barn of Martin Wolfson from Todd Pletcher this summer. The 5-year-old son of Birdonthewire won for the sixth time at Calder in 12 starts.

"I knew he would beat Gottcha Gold in this race," said Wolfson, who had also entered It's a Bird in the Miami Mile (gr. IIIT) on Calder's Festival of the Sun program before opting for the Spend a Buck.

It's a Bird stalked the pace in fifth as Gottcha Gold and Finallymadeit fought on the lead through even fractions of :23 2/5, :46 4/5 and 1:11 4/5. Gottcha Gold won that battle in upper stretch when Finallymadeit fell back, but he was immediately tackled by It's a Bird with Dream Maestro, ridden by Juan Leyva, joining them on the outside. Lopez went to work on Gottcha Gold as It's a Bird edged to the lead in the final furlong and the pair battled on even terms the rest of the way.

“Mr. Wolfson and I had a plan going into this race that we were going to let the two speed horses go and we would just sit back, let them knock each other out and make our own late run," Bridgmohan said. "It set up perfectly and we actually got into a little bit of trouble on the first turn, but that just played into our hands and helped our cause.”

It's a Bird went gate-to-wire for a five-length win in the 1 1/2-mile Plagiarize Stakes in his last start Sept. 20 at Calder. The dark bay horse defeated an optional claiming allowance field on a sloppy track at Calder in his first start for Wolfson prior to that. The Spend a Buck was It's a Bird's eighth lifetime win in 23 starts and was worth $59,520 to the winning connections, pushing the dark bay's total earnings to $234,485.

White Cross Farm bred the winner in Florida.

Sent off as the fourth choice in the field of nine, It's Bird paid $12, $5.80 and $4.40. Gottcha Gold, a multiple graded winner for Edward Pleas Jr., returned $3 and $2.40, rounding out a $2 exacta worth $35.60. Dream Maestro, a 55-1 shot, was $8.40 to show.

Marnesia's Big Boy finished fourth, followed by Sweetnorthernsaint, Finallymadeit, Judiths Wild Rush, Whos Crying Now and Hal's My Hope.

View Stakes Detail and Full Equibase Chart