March 25, 2012
Reigning world champion Cold Cash 123 made his 2012 debut a winning one, becoming American Quarter Horse racing’s newest millionaire in the process. The 4-year-old gelding won the Grade 1, $100,900 Leo Stakes on Saturday night at Remington Park in his typical fashion, overcoming a less-than-perfect start to fly late to victory.
Owned and bred in Michigan by Carolyn & Walter Bay’s T. Bill Stables, Cold Cash 123 added the Leo Stakes to his current winning streak of four straight races, dating back to October 2011.
Cold Cash 123 broke outward at the start, continuing his career habit of poor beginnings. However, as he normally does, the gelding found his stride and began to roll late. The big finish was needed as Llano Teller and jockey G.R. Carter Jr. used a superb start to rocket to the lead, but he could not hold off his rival at the end of the 400 yards. Cold Cash 123 stopped the timer at :19.524 to earn a 97 speed index.
“This horse tends to get a little mad at the gate,” winning jockey Roy Baldillez noted. “When we had to back them out and then reload, he didn’t get away good but he’s going to get going. I just hold him together and he’ll do the rest.”
Baldillez referred to an issue with opponent Streakin Down, the fifth-place finisher, who popped through his stall doors and was briefly loose during the initial gate-loading for the Leo Stakes. The rest of the field was subsequently backed out of the gate until Streakin Down could return to join the competition.
Trainer Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath was pleased with the effort of Cold Cash 123 despite his starting habits.
“He just gives it his all,” said the trainer. “He might not get away very good, that’s his thing, but he’s going to give his all during the race.”
Cold Cash 123 won the Leo Stakes by a neck over Wootan Racing and Reed Land and Cattle's millionaire Llano Teller. The first major stakes race for older horses on the Remington Park stakes schedule served as the fourth time the pair have squared off since July 2011. Cold Cash 123 holds a three wins to one advantage in the competition, winning the $863,543 Rainbow Derby (G1) in July at Ruidoso Downs and the $372,549 Texas Classic Derby (G1) in November at Lone Star Park in addition to the Leo.
Llano Teller’s one score versus Cold Cash 123 in the timeframe came in the $1.3 million All American Derby (G1) in September at Ruidoso.
Away as the 3-5 wagering favorite, Cold Cash 123 paid $3.40 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.20 to show. Llano Teller returned $3.20 to place and $3 to show. T Gold J was a half-length behind the top pair in third and paid $3.80 to show.
The win was the 10th from 15 career starts for Cold Cash 123, a son of Oak Tree Special from the Takin On The Cash mare Hot Cash 123. The winner’s check from the Leo of $60,000 gives Cold Cash 123 career earnings of $1,039,741. The Leo Stakes was also his first win in three attempts at Remington Park, where he had never had an on-the-board finish.
This was the first win in the Leo Stakes for all of the connections of Cold Cash 123. The Leo Stakes is named in honor of one of the foundation stallions in the sport and an American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member.
On the Leo undercard, Candy Cartel won the Grade 3, $53,600 Decketta Stakes and continued her rich vein of form for owner and breeder Carl Pevehouse of Ratliff City, Oklahoma. Her sharp effort extended her winning streak to six straight races and expanded her bankroll to over $121,000.
Candy Cartel began her win streak in Tulsa at Fair Meadows in an allowance race in June 2011. She then went north of the border to win back-to-back allowance races at Ajax Downs in Ontario, Canada. She then earned her first-ever stakes win at Fort Erie in Ontario in the Fort Erie Derby. After a nearly five-month layoff, she returned to racing at Remington Park on March 9 as the winning favorite in a $27,000 allowance.
Winning jockey Tony Bennett has teamed up with trainer Clint Crawford for all of the Oklahoma victories within the win streak. Crawford enjoyed a two-win evening and is currently tied for second in the Remington Park trainer standings with Eddie Lee Willis; each has nine wins.
Candy Cartel covered the Decketta’s 350 yards in :17.393 as a winning 6-5 wagering favorite, paying $4.60 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Chics Delight finished second in the Decketta Stakes again, just as she did in 2011, she paid $9.20 to place and $5.40 to show. Snow Forecast finished third and paid $6.80 to show.
The 4-year-old daughter of Corona Cartel from the Strawfly Special mare This Candys Special had now won seven of 14 lifetime races. She has won three of seven career attempts at Remington Park.
The Decketta win is the first for Pevehouse and Bennett. It is the second Decketta win in a row for Crawford, who saddled 2011 victor Fredaville in the race.
The Decketta is named after the 1964 All American Futurity winner who was bred in Oklahoma. She was the top race mare of her era before becoming an champion show horse then a superb broodmare.
Remington Park racing continues with a 12-event program on Sunday afternoon, underway at 1:30 p.m.
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