02/20/2016 7:04PM

Cash Back remains unbeaten in Melody of Colors

Barbara D. Livingston
Jose Lezcano collects one of his three wins on the card aboard Cash Back in the Melody of Colors.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Cash Back kept her record perfect after registering a 1 3/4-length victory over More Royalty in Saturday’s spill-marred Melody of Colors Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Dad’s Kiddoo finished third. Only four of the original eight starters completed the course.

With jockey Jose Lezcano aboard, Cash Back rated within easy striking distance of the pacesetter More Royalty and then surged down the center of the course to wear down the leader inside the final sixteenth to win for the third time in as many starts. Cash Back, a homebred daughter of Congrats, is owned by Richard and Bertram Klein and trained by Brad Cox. 

The tragic incident occurred in early stretch after More Royalty drifted out slightly and appeared to make contact with Brandy’s Girl, who fell heavily at that point. Kandoo, who was right behind the leaders, also went down when tumbling over the prone Brandy’s Girl. Hi Holiday lost her rider, Edgard Zayas, when swerving sharply in an attempt to avoid the two downed horses. My Dear Venezuela attempted to leap the stricken Kandoo, kept her footing but was eventually eased by jockey Luis Saez.

Both Rafael Hernandez, who was aboard Brandy’s Girl, and Joel Rosario, the rider of Kandoo, were transported to nearby Memorial Hospital. Zayas and Saez returned to the jockeys’ room, with Zayas taking off his mount in the final race on the card.

Kandoo was euthanized while the other three horses appeared to escape the incident without any serious injuries.

After a brief stewards’ inquiry, the result stood as is.

Cash Back paid $3.40.

 “I got a very good trip,” said Lezcano, who registered three wins on the card. “She was sitting in a very good spot and when I asked her she went on. I stayed and waited for something to open and when it did, she came running.”