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Cold Cash 123 Takes Go Man Go

World champion wins his Los Alamitos debut.

September 24, 2012

T. Bill Stables Inc.’s world champion Cold Cash 123 delivered a spectacular Los Alamitos racing debut, as the 4-year-old gelding finished powerfully to beat an outstanding field in the Grade 1, $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap on Sunday night.

Making his first start at the Orange County oval since arriving here on August 3 from the barn of trainer Sleepy Gilbreath, the reigning champion broke sharply from post eight and patiently chased the fast-breaking Creston Goer during the first half of the 400-yard race. Ridden by Roy Baldillez and saddled at Los Alamitos by trainer Denny Ekins, Cold Cash 123 found his top gear with 100 yards left in the Go Man Go and from there he flew past Creston Goer to record an impressive half-length victory in a time of :19.511. Sent off as the second choice in the wagering at 2-1 odds, Cold Cash 123 improved his record to 12 wins in 17 career starts while extending his winning streak to six in a row.

The Michigan-bred son of Oak Tree Special is on quite a roll. His last five wins have all come in Grade 1 races, and he’s a perfect three-for-three in 2012. Since October 21, 2011, Cold Cash 123 has won the Grade 1 Texas Classic Derby at Lone Star Park, the Grade 1 The Championship at Sunland Park, the Grade 1 Leo Stakes and Grade 1 Remington Park Invitational Championship at Remington Park and now the Grade 1 Go Man Go in Southern California. His victory in the Go Man Go sets him up perfectly for one or possiblly two more starts at Los Alamitos. If everything goes as planned, Cold Cash 123 will race in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions on Saturday, December 15. He could also race in the Grade 1 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship on October 28 at 440 yards, but an appearance in that race is not for certain according to Carolyn Bay, who along with her husband, Walter Bay, campaigns Cold Cash 123.

“We’ll have to think hard about what his next race will be,” Bay said. “We wanted to see how he would handle Los Alamitos. He did great. He got out of the gate straight.”

Cold Cash 123 is the first reigning world champion to travel to Los Alamitos having never raced there before since Winalota Cash made his local debut in the 1996 Champion of Champions. Winalota Cash had no luck on that night, as he finished sixth to Dashing Folly in that year’s Champion of Champions. The connections of Cold Cash 123 decided that it would be best for their superstar gelding to get a race under his belt prior to the Champion of Champions.

“It was back a while when Sleepy first said that California had the races for older horses that would suit Cold Cash the best,” she added. “I didn’t know anyone in California, but Sleepy said that he had known Denny for a long time and he felt that he would fit perfectly with Cold Cash 123. Sleepy said that Denny took good care of his horses and that he knew it would work out. It was scary for me. We are farm boys from up north in Michigan and to come out here, well, we were worried. Sleepy assured me that it would be okay. Denny went to Ruidoso Downs to meet Cold Cash 123 before we sent him out here. That’s how things started rolling. When they took Cold Cash and headed to California, it was a heart-wrenching sight. It is different here. The lights are brighter; the way the horses are walked to the paddock is a little different, etc. Cold Cash took everything well. He is always very quiet, but he was a little edgy when he was being saddled. I wanted to see his gait because he’s the kind of horse that you can lead him like a dog because he’s so calm. In the post parade I saw it. He was relaxed, his head was down and he looked very easy going. That’s my Cold Cash. He’s like a cow pony and I love that about him. You could let your grandchildren lead this horse.”

Cold Cash 123 stood perfectly awaiting the start. When the gates opened, he did not make a mistake.

“He stood perfectly and was looking down at the track,” Ekins said. “He broke on his feet and he got away nicely from there. Roy did an outstanding job. The horse did everything the way we wanted. He is a marvelous horse. Once he winds up down the track he can cover some ground. This was a really important race and the way Sleepy prepared him to perfection, I think this sets him up nicely for what’s coming up next. This was exciting because this was a stellar field that he faced.”

Cold Cash 123 earned $50,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $1,240,281. Salvador Veliz’s Creston Goer, winner of the Kaweah Bar Handicap (G3) earlier this year, earned $17,000 for running second. Multiple stakes winner Senor Toby ran third and was followed across the wire by 2011 Champion of Champions runner-up Sparky E Boy, Governor’s Cup Derby (RG2) winner Terrific Synergy, 400-yard track record holder Chivalry SR and top runners Shining First Dash, Harems Last Dash, Twelve Stepper and Rylees Boy.

“I just talked to Sleepy, who is at Lone Star Park right now, and he was thrilled,” Ekins added. “He’s very happy for all of us right now.”

Roy Baldillez’s ride aboard the world champion was a thing of beauty. The jockey knew that Creston Goer enjoyed a perfect start, but he never lost his cool aboard Cold Cash 123.

“He was going against some powerful horses, but he still came through at the end,” Baldillez said. “This is one of his best efforts. He is an awesome animal. I could see that Creston Goer had us beat by over a length. He ran as if he was shot out of a cannon, but as the race went on I could see that we were making up ground with every jump. You have to patient at that point. I didn’t want to override him or try to play catch up too early. I had to leave the horse to do his job. You can’t panic in that situation. You have let the horse do the running and stay out of his way. I just wanted everything to go right with the horse.”

Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Joe Antonio Moreno, Creston Goer was the surprise package of the Go Man Go, as he held on for second at odds of nearly 11-1.

“We were still leading after the first 350 yards,” Mendez said. “I could feel that Cold Cash was coming on so I had to go to whip, but when I did that (Creston Goer) didn’t respond to it and it kind of stopped his stride. The horse ran a great race and I thought we had it.”

The 3-year-old gelding Terrific Synergy, the 9-5 favorite, broke right alongside Cold Cash 123, but could not keep up with the leaders and had to settle for fifth-place in his first race against older horses.

“I have no excuses,” said jockey G.R. Carter. “He warmed up well and we got away okay. It took him a little while to get going early on and he was doing a lot better in the second half of the race. We almost beat (Sparky E Boy) for fourth-place.”

Cold Cash 123 was already in the Champion of Champions going into the Go Man Go, so his victory on Sunday night means that there will be an extra berth up for grabs in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials on Saturday, November 24. All American Derby (G1) winner Ochoa declined his berth into the Champion of Champions so his berth will also revert to the Z. Wayne Griffin. The only horses that have accepted their spots in the Champion of Champions as of right now are Cold Cash 123 and El Aguila Real. The Z. Wayne Griffin has three berths available and the remaining five spots will be decided in the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) to be held on Sunday, September 30, the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), the Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship, the Refrigerator Handicap (G1) and the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1).

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Robert Gentry's Fredaville, winner of the Merial California Distaff Challenge (G3), is one of 24 mares nominated to the aforementioned $150,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap. The winner will earn a berth to the Champion of Champions. The list of nominations also features 2010 champion Flying Fig, La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) winner Flame N Flash and stakes winner Classic Sassy Check. Others nominated are A Dirty Feature, A Kool Zoom, Alota Action, Azshecanfly, Check N Fetch, Enjoy The Walk, Getit Together, Icy In The Morn, Im Tryin, Lotta Love For Robyn, Natalias Got Moves, Onemoreglassofwine, Perrier Cartel, Royally Sandra, Sex On Fire, Shesnowsall, Sheza Bad Habit, Sheza Shy Shahayla, Thisfeatureisspecial and Touch Of Paso. For more info, call 714-820-2690.