06/11/2016 6:45PM

Cash Control edges stablemate Sweet Acclaim in Mint Julep

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Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Cash Control holds off Sweet Acclaim to win the Mint Julep on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Like anyone else, Brad Cox loves when a plan comes together.

Cox said earlier in the week he had long targeted the Grade 3 Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs for his top two turf mares, Cash Control and Sweet Acclaim. And there they were Saturday, separated by only a head at the finish of the 1 1/16-mile race. Cash Control, benefitting from a clean rail run under Shaun Bridgmohan, was a narrow winner over her stablemate.

“I was very proud of both of them, and honestly, the way they had been training, we had kind of expected it,” Cox said. “They both had been training as well as mares could train, and they both showed up and ran great races.”

Cash Control, bred and owned by Bert and Richard Klein, returned $6.80 as second choice in a field of 10 fillies and mares. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile finished in 1:41.12 over a firm course. She has now has won eight of 15 career starts, with $58,900 of the $100,000 purse lifting her career bankroll to $343,600.

Sweet Acclaim, owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and Bradley Thoroughbreds, was sent away the 9-5 favorite.

“She was close to becoming a graded stake winner, but I just feel like as long as she stays healthy, she will become one,” Cox said. “She ran a great race.”

Zipessa finished third, another 2 1/4 lengths behind the top pair, and was followed in order by Josdesanimaux, Personal Diary, Flying Tipat, Southern Gem, Sistas Stroll, Kiss Moon, and the 121-pound highweight, Mizz Money.

The all-Cox exacta (4-7) paid $24 for $2. The $1 trifecta (4-7-6) returned $45.40 and the 10-cent superfecta (4-7-6-8) was worth $25.24.

The Mint Julep was the finale on an 11-race card and ended a 20-cent Single Six sequence that returned $21,490. A carryover of nearly $550,000 awaits Churchill bettors for Sunday.

Earlier Saturday, trainer Buff Bradley won with three of his four starters: A Terrific Shot ($7.20) in the second, Nawlins Kitty ($20.40) in the ninth, and Divine Warrior ($94) in the 10th. Bradley was in New York to saddle Divisidero to a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Manhattan.