Cash Rules solidified his status as this year’s top older horse at Calder with a victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap (Grade 3).
Cash Rules beat the late-running Ducduc by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile dirt stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
The win was the fourth in a Calder stakes this year for Cash Rules, a 5-year-old gelding trained by David Fawkes.
Cash Rules, the 2-5 favorite, took the lead at the top of the stretch and then was extended to hold off Ducduc. Cash Rules was ridden by Luis Saez and won in 1:46.99.
“We’ll keep him down here, and there are a lot of options on where we can run him,” Fawkes said.
As a Florida-bred, Cash Rules is eligible for the $150,000 Carl G. Rose Handicap at Calder on Nov. 11.
• Calder’s Festival of the Sun had two stakes for 3-year-olds that were scheduled for turf but moved to dirt following heavy rain Friday night.
Awesome Belle ran her victory streak to four, all in Calder stakes, as she held off a rallying Frolic’s Revenge and won by a neck in the one-mile Frances A. Genter Stakes for fillies.
Csaba took the lead around the final turn and pulled away for an eye-popping 14-length win over Empire Builder in the Tropical Park Derby, at 1 1/8 miles for males.
Two of the wins in Awesome Belle’s streak have been on turf and two have been on dirt. Thus, the surface switch was not a concern for her trainer Stan Gold.
Awesome Belle led gate to wire in her three previous wins.
“She doesn’t need to be on the lead,” Gold said before Saturday’s race. “It was there [previous races] and we took it.”
Sinister Brew, at 25-1, went to the front and led the 4-5 favorite Awesome Belle by a length after a quarter mile.
Awesome Belle, with Fernando Jara riding for the fourth consecutive race, took the lead at the half-mile mark and began building her margin.
Frolic’s Revenge then began her rally, but Awesome Belle held on for the win with a time of 1:40.82.
Gold said he might give Awesome Belle a break from racing until the Gulfstream Park meet, which starts Dec. 1.
The strong second-place finish was a turnaround for Frolic’s Revenge, who earlier this year won three consecutive stakes at Calder. But she finished fifth in two of Awesome Belle’s recent wins.
“We took blinkers off her today and that seemed to help,” trainer Milt Wolfson said of a change that often helps horses improve their focus.
• The Tropical Park Derby was Csaba’s first race at Calder following a summer in which he raced in stakes at tracks in Northern states that included a second-place finish in the Hall of Fame Stakes (Grade 2) at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on Aug. 10.
Bettors made him the 6-5 favorite in the Tropical Park Derby. He won in 1:52.94 under Saez for trainer Phil Gleaves.