“It was a little tougher today,” winning rider Luis Saez said following Cash Rules’ hard-fought victory over rivals he beat with ease in last month’s $55,000 Band Is Passing Stakes. “Right now, I’m just happy we won.”
“Nobody in the race had much speed,” Saez said. “Thankfully that horse (Sky Venture) went so I could take my horse and hold him back (in second) and wait all the way.”
Cash Rules nudged ahead of a tiring Sky Venture at the top of the stretch to open up a lead on the field, but unlike past races when Cash Rules ran away from rivals, the gelding faced pressure throughout the final furlong, defiantly resisting the late two-horse challenge to hold sway at the wire.
“It was almost like he was asleep a little bit,” Saez explained. “Because when we came to the stretch and I asked him, he gave me something, but not really everything he has. But when he saw those other horses late, thankfully he responded.”
Trained by Dave Fawkes, Cash Rules returned $2.80, $2.10, and $2.10 for his popular victory. Liberty Cap paid $3.00 and $2.40 for second, while Flatter This, the 2011 winner of the Darn That Alarm, brought back $4.40 when third. Final time for the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:46.88.
With his Darn That Alarm victory, Cash Rules has visited the winner’s circle six times from 13 career starts and is a three-time stakes winner at the meet having also prevailed in the $55,000 Sumter Stakes and the Band Is Passing. The 5-year-old gelding has lifetime earnings of $213,261.
Two races after Cash Rules prevailed in the Darn That Alarm, Shadybrook Farm Inc. and William Lusky’s Tripski won for the second straight time when passing rivals in the shadow of the wire to win the five-furlong $55,000 Eillo Stakes by a half-length in :56.20.
Ridden to victory by Jesus Rios, the Michael Yates trainee saved ground while settling in mid-pack through the early stages of the Eillo before shaking free inside the final furlong and driving by his rivals for the win.
Pacesetter Uno Caliente held on to finish second while Classic Brook was third.