Dollar Bill made it to the Fair Grounds stretch with no traffic trouble Friday, before outdueling pacesetter Storm Cruiser in the stretch to win a $37,000 allowance race by a neck.
Under Robby Albarado, Dollar Bill settled in fifth out of the gate, then move up into third as the field headed onto the backstretch. Storm Cruiser led by 2 1/2 lengths after a half-mile in :47.44 as Dollar Bill remained third, with Connected trailing the field. Dollar Bill moved up with Desert Demon to challenge for the lead while three wide on the second turn, then dug in while running an erratic course in the stretch to notch the win in his first race since August. A game Storm Cruiser battled back from a half-length back at the stretch call to just miss pulling off the upset.
Dollar Bill completed the mile and 40 yards in 1:40.07 on a fast track. Storm Cruiser finished a length clear of Connected, with the latter just getting up for third over fourth-place Miner's Prize. Valid Prime, Desert Demon, and On Your Mark completed the order of finish. Tahkodha Hills and True Concern were scratched.
With the win Dallas Stewart-trained Dollar Bill earned $22,200 for owners Gary and Mary West. He last won in last February's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds before experiencing trouble in races leading up to and comprising the Triple Crown.
Favored Dollar Bill returned $3.80 for the win and topped a $23.60 exacta. (Chart, Equibase