The top five finishers in the $53,500 Band Is Passing Stakes at Calder Aug. 11, including Florida-bred winner Cash Rules, return Saturday at the Miami Gardens, Fla., track in the $75,000 Darn That Alarm Handicap. Joining Cash Rules in the field of seven to be run 1 1/16 miles on Calder’s main track are Band Is Passing runner-up Numb Lips, third-place finisher Liberty Cap; and Ducduc and Flatter This, the fourth and fifth-place finishers respectively in the Band Is Passing. Sky Venture and Florida-bred Imperial Czar will also join the vanguard in the Darn that Alarm.
Cash Rules should be the post time favorite and is the 121-pound high weight Saturday after a relatively easy time in the Band Is Passing. After stalking a moderate pace when speedster Oligarch went the first quarter-mile in :23.92 and the first four furlongs in :48.29, Cash Rules and jockey Luis Saez found room along the rail around the far turn and went on to win by more than two lengths. Numb Lips also made a late run coming from as far back as seventh to get up for the place while Liberty Cap, who had run next to Cash Rules early, could not keep up after going three-wide in the turn and finished third.
A victory in the Darn That Alarm would be the third of the Calder season for Cash Rules, who also won the $54,000 Sumter Stakes there May 5. He has two runner-up performances at the meeting to go along with his pair of stakes wins as he was second to Where’s Sterling in the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap on May 28 and again second, this time to Numb Libs, in the $51,000 Primal Stakes on Jul. 21. David Fawkes trains Cash Rules for owner Larry Fugate of Dade City, Fla., who bred Cash Rules in partnership with Marshall and Suzanne Novak, also of Dade City. Cash Rules will break from post five in the Darn That Alarm.
Trainer Austin Bezara is hoping to take advantage of the 118-pound weight assignment for his Numb Lips in the Darn That Alarm after carrying the 120 pounds in the Band Is Passing. While Cash Rules also carried 120 pounds in the Band Is Passing, he gets an additional pound in the Darn That Alarm while Numb Lips will carry two pounds less.
Jockey Fernando Jara will be looking to improve his trip on Numb Lips Saturday compared to his four-wide run around the far turn in the Band Is Passing while Cash Rules found a seam along the rail. Jara and Numb Lips will break from the outside post seven in the Darn That Alarm.
The Numb Lips team is keenly aware they can defeat Cash Rules under the right circumstances, just as they did in the Primal Stakes when they were again first and second respectively. Also running third in that race was Liberty Cap, who was also made the show spot in the Band Is Passing. Trained by Christos Gatis for Lady Luck Stable, Liberty Cap will be looking for his first stakes victory since winning the Norfolk County Ice Cream Nursery Handicap at Newmarket Race Course in the United Kingdom in September of 2010. Saturday, Liberty Cap will break from post three with jockey Jozbin Santana.
Florida-bred Imperial Czar rejoins the fray in the older horse division at Calder after traveling to Evangeline Downs Aug. 11 for their $125,000 Evangeline Mile where he finished seventh. Unlike Liberty Cap however, Imperial Czar has had success against this group at Calder this summer having won the $125,000 Miami Mile Handicap on Apr. 21. Bred in Florida by R.C. Van Voorhees of Ocala and Elizabeth Steinbach, also of Ocala, Imperial Czar has since finished fourth in the Memorial Day Handicap and fifth in the $51,000 Mecke Stakes Jun. 23, both won by Where’s Sterling. Trainer Saul Matos has again given the riding assignment aboard Imperial Czar to Juan Delgado. They will break from post four.
Photo by Coady