10/25/2012 4:46PM

Beulah Park: Revitalized Pay the Man must beat Caviar N Champagne and Patrick Valenzuela


Pay the Man will try to win her third consecutive Scarlet and Gray Handicap on Saturday at Beulah Park when she takes on nine other Ohio-bred fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Adding interest to the race is that Patrick Valenzuela is expected to be at Beulah to ride Caviar N Champagne, Pay the Man’s chief rival. According to Jeremiah Englehardt, trainer of Caviar N Champagne, Valenzuela is a friend of the horse’s owner, Laura Pavlish, who races as Luch Racing Stable.

Pay the Man, 8, comes into the $50,000 Scarlet and Gray off an impressive victory in the Best of Ohio Distaff at Thistledown. Last season, Pay the Man won the Distaff and then scored in the Scarlet and Gray. In 2010, she finished second in the Distaff before winning the Scarlet and Gray.

Pay the Man had not been at the top of her game this season before the Distaff. Although the daughter of Bernstein won six of eight races in 2011, she had won only once in six tries before the Distaff this year and had finished off the board in four of her six starts. Luis Gonzalez retains the mount.

Caviar N Champagne will face Ohio-bred company for the second time in her 16-race career. A 3-year-old daughter of Formal Dinner, Caviar N Champagne was claimed by trainer Englehardt and Pavlish on July 13 at Belmont Park for $30,000. In her last out, which came at Finger Lakes on Sept. 29, Caviar N Champagne finished third in a six-furlong allowance race. Caviar N Champagne has won only once in 10 attempts at that distance.