12/17/2016 6:25PM

Cash Control holds off Kitten's Roar in Blushing K.D.

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Hodges Photography
Cash Control, right, battles Kitten's Roar en route to a win in the Blushing K.D. Stakes on Saturday.

Cash Control had rolled to a four-length victory over Kitten’s Roar last month in the Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs, but Saturday at Fair Grounds Cash Control prevailed after getting a dogged fight from that same rival, winning the $75,000 Blushing K.D. Stakes by a head.

Cash Control, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan for trainer Brad Cox and owners Richard and Bertram Klein, ran 1 1/16 miles on a firm course in 1:42.92 and paid $4 as the strong favorite. The 5-year-old mare, by Pioneerof the Nile and out of the Mt. Livermore mare Hidden Assets, was bred by the Kleins, won for the 10th time in 20 starts, and pushed her bankroll past a half-million. Her connections plan to campaign her at age 6 during 2017.

Freudie Anne made the early lead and raced solo through early splits of 23.44 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 48.24 to the half as Cash Control, mildly restrained by Bridgmohan, raced two paths off the fence while in second, several lengths behind the leader down the backstretch.

Florent Geroux on Kitten’s Roar shadowed Cash Control’s every move while stalking in the clear, and when Cash Control made a run at Freudie Anne approaching the quarter-pole, Kitten’s Roar came right behind her. Geroux attacked early, drawing abreast Cash Control, and at the furlong grounds Kitten’s Roar had nosed her way to the lead. She still appeared to hold a narrow advantage at the sixteenth pole, but Cash Control continued on resolutely to get back in front just before the finish.

The top two were much the best, with Prado’s Sweet Ride, who got a sweet pocket trip, 3 1/2 lengths back in third and two lengths better than Uchenna. Trophee, who was the 4-1 second choice on the track’s morning line, was scratched.