Saturday was a day for repeat winners in Florida Million day stakes races at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Cash Rules ran his Calder victory streak to four, all in stakes, by winning the $150,000 Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on dirt.
My Pal Chrisy won the $150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, at 1 1/16 miles on dirt, for the second consecutive year.
Bad Debt repeated his 2011 victory in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup Handicap, at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
In the day’s other stakes for 3-year-olds and up, Close It Out rallied from 10th and last place after a quarter mile and beat Bahamian Squall by a neck in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint.
The race was six furlongs on a dirt track listed as fast. Close It Out won in 1 minute 10.73 seconds and was ridden by Jose Lezcano for trainer Steve Towne.
All of the day’s stakes were restricted to Florida-breds.
The emergence of Cash Rules as a star, after not racing in 2011 because of a knee injury, has been one of this year’s biggest stories at Calder.
Cash Rules, a 5-year-old gelding trained by David Fawkes, beat some of Calder’s other top stakes horses in his previous wins.
On Saturday he faced a relatively soft field with just four rivals.
Megamove, regarded as the biggest threat, was scratched by his trainer Ron Spatz after coming down with a cough on Friday night.
Cash Rules, at 3-10, led almost the entire race under jockey Luis Saez and beat He’s Spectacular by 1 ½ lengths.
Without serious pressure, Cash Rule’s time of 1:54.15 was only modest for a stakes race.
“We thought he would come back strong, but never expected a year like this,” said Larry Fugate, the owner of Cash Rules.
Cash Rules raced seven times this year at Calder — all in stakes longer than a mile. He had five wins and a pair of second-place finishes.
“I think he is ready for a step up,” Fawkes said.
He said that could be in stakes early next year at Gulfstream Park.
“Other tracks are possible,” Fawkes said. “I also am thinking about trying him on turf.”
Cash Rules is a son of Peace Rules, the third-place finisher in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.
In the Elmer Heubeck, My Pal Chrisy took the lead around the far turn and coasted to a 7 ¼-length win over Flying Trip. Successful Song finished a nose behind in third.
My Pal Chrisy, at 6-1, was ridden by Luca Panici, and won in 1:47.58. She is trained and owned by Padarath “Tony” Lutchman.
Bad Debt returned to Calder for the first time since last year’s Bonnie Heath. He spent most of this year at New York and Maryland tracks for trainer Michael Trombetta.
Bad Debt was the 9-10 favorite in an eight-horse field.
He was sixth behind a wall of horses coming out of the turn.
But jockey Kendrick Carmouche found an opening and Bad Debt surged ahead and finished a neck ahead of Speak Easy Gal, the only female in the race.
Alley Oop Oop and Picou finished third and fourth less than a length behind Bad Debt, who won in 1:49.95.
The stewards conducted an inquiry because of bumping near the finish, but let the results stand.
“The more they kept coming out and bumping me, the more my horse wanted to go through there even faster,” Carmouche said. “All that contact got him riled.”