With wins in four stakes races, Cash Rules has been this year’s clear-cut standout among older males at Calder Casino & Race Course.
On Saturday, the 5-year-old gelding will seek his biggest victory and payday yet in the $150,000 Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap.
That 1 1/8-mile dirt race is one of eight stakes on Calder’s annual Florida Million Day.
All of the stakes are restricted to Florida-breds and are named for present and former leaders of Florida’s thoroughbred breeding industry, which is centered in the Ocala area. Florida is annually second to Kentucky in number of thoroughbreds foaled in the United States.
“This is a chance to show how strong our racing is in Florida and there will be some deep fields,” said David Fawkes, who trains Cash Rules.
The Florida Million has four stakes for 3-year-olds and up and four stakes for 2-year-olds.
The Carl G. Rose is the seventh race, with scheduled post time of 3:05 p.m.
Cash Rules’ most recent win was in the 1 1/16-mile Spend A Buck Handicap (Grade 3) at Calder on Oct. 13.
His stakes wins have been on dirt at distances longer than a mile, usually with him stalking a fast pace.
“I am confident that he is ready for another big race,” Fawkes said.
But he added that the early pace might be different this time.
Megamove, trained by Ron Spatz, is the only entrant in the six-horse field with a history of seeking the lead.
So Cash Rules and jockey Luis Saez, along with other rivals, might need to keep Megamove and Paco Lopez from getting a loose lead.
The 3-year-old Megamove has two wins and two seconds in his past four races — all Calder dirt allowances at one mile or longer.
The Carl G. Rose also has Imperial Czar, winner of this year’s Miami Mile at Calder, and He’s Spectacular, winner of six non-stakes races at Calder this year.
Several of the stakes have Florida-breds that are making their first 2012 Calder starts, after spending the summer racing in other states.
One of the most notable shippers is Bad Debt who will seek a repeat of his 2011 win in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Handicap, at 1 1/8 miles.
Bad Debt has two wins this year, in turf allowance races at Atlantic City and Belmont Park.
Trainer Michael Trombetta and Kendrick Carmouche, who rode Bad Debt in last year’s Bonnie Heath, are at Calder for the first time this year.
The field also has Picou and Roman Tiger, the second- and third-place finishers in last year’s Bonnie Heath. That was the most recent race for Picou, a 7-year-old gelding.
“He had an ankle injury,” said Fawkes, his trainer.
“He is fit now and training well.”
Nineinthenine, a winner of three Calder turf allowances this year, and The Best Glacier are locally based contenders.
Trainer Marty Wolfson has entered the 6-year-old mare Speak Easy Gal in the Bonnie Heath and in the $150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap.
The Heubeck is 1 1/16 miles on dirt for fillies and mares.
In either race, Speak Easy Gal likely will seek the early lead.
My Pal Chrisy, last year’s winner, Callmethesqueeze and Successful Song are possible favorites in the Heubeck.
The $150,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap has 10 entrants, with seven that have finished third or better in at least one Calder sprint stakes this year.
Bull Dozer, at 5-2, and Dual Exhauzt, at 4-1, are the morning-line favorites in the Jack Dudley at six furlongs on dirt.
Bahamian Squall, a 3-year-old trained by Fawkes and ridden by Saez, and Off the Jak also will attract some bettors
The Jack Price Juvenile is seven furlongs on dirt for males with a field headed by Brave Dave and Sr. Quisqueyano.
Brave Dave has won six-furlong stakes this year at Calder and at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
Sr. Quisqueyano has a win and a pair of second-place finishes in Calder stakes.
The $125,000 Joe O’Farrell Fillies is seven furlongs on dirt, the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf is 1 1/16 miles and the $100,000 Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile Turf is 1 1/16 miles for males.