11/19/2016 7:35PM

Cash Control handles longer distance in Cardinal Handicap

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Shaun Bridgmohan guides favored Cash Control to a four-length victory in the Cardinal Handicap.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –  Cash Control entered Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Cardinal Handicap  at Churchill Downs untested at 1 1/8 miles, having been kept in races in at 1 1/16 miles or shorter in 18 prior starts. But her inexperience at the distance didn’t matter in the Cardinal, as Cash Control drew away to an authoritative four-length victory over Kitten’s Roar.

Although undoubtedly best, Cash Control enjoyed a perfect trip, stalking the pace in third, as longshots Lots o’ Lex and Belle De Nuit and set contested splits of 48.94 seconds and 1:12.95 over a firm turf course. Then the winner made her move, surging to take the lead by 2 1/2 lengths in midstretch, and kept pouring it on to the wire.

Cash Control completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.39 over a course that received much-needed rain early Saturday morning.

Lots o’ Lex held well in the lane, but was caught in the closing strides for the runner-up spot by Kitten’s Roar, who rallied from eighth.

Lady Fog Horn, the runner-up in the race in 2015, was scratched.

Cash Control, a homebred 5-year-old mare by Pioneerof the Nile owned by the Klein family of Louisville, won her fourth stakes race in taking the Cardinal. She paid $7 as the favorite in the field of 12.

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Winning jockey Shaun Bridgmohan said he was pleased to see her draw toward the outside, where he could ride her patiently and keep her in the clear.

 “The main thing with her is trying to get her to relax,” he said.

Although Cash Control had lost her three starts going into the Cardinal, trainer Brad Cox said entered the race with confidence after she had trained well.

“This mare is thriving right now,” he said in his post-race interview.

A race earlier, Recount ($17.20) proved a game winner of the $78,980 Bet On Sunshine overnight stakes, coming back to edge favored Holy Boss by a head after being passed in midstretch. Under stern left-handed urging from jockey Chris Landeros, Recount, a 4-year-old gelded son of Limehouse owned by Doubledown Stakes and trained by Jimmy DiVito, finished six furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.45.