01/12/2011 4:43PM

Cash Refund targets repeat in Duncan Kenner

Tom Keyser
Cash refund is being pointed to the $100,000 Duncan Kenner Stakes on March 26, a race he won in 2010.

Cash Refund showed he still can turn in a high-class sprint performance when he won for the fifth time in as many Fair Grounds tries in an allowance race Saturday, but that will be one of only two appearances Cash Refund is expected to make at the ongoing meet.

Trainer Steve Margolis said Cash Refund would now be pointed to the $100,000 Duncan Kenner Stakes on March 26, a race he won in 2010.

“I think we’ll sit and be patient,” Margolis said. “He’s had three races fairly close together.”

It was the first two of those three races that cast doubt on Cash Refund’s current capabilities. After finishing a distant and somewhat disappointing third to Majesticperfection in the June 25 Iowa Sprint Handicap, Cash Refund was laid off until early November. A fading eighth-place comeback finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint was understandable, given the challenging circumstances, but in a Nov. 26 allowance race Cash Refund lost for the fourth time in a row after winning five of his first six starts.

Turned out all he needed was a return to New Orleans, where Cash Refund started his career and where he has never lost. He was timed in a fast 1:09.34 winning Saturday’s eighth race by a neck over Backtalk and came back in the final half-furlong after Backtalk had grabbed a narrow lead.

“I know that wasn’t a big stellar field, but I loved the fact that when he got headed he dug back in,” Margolis said. “That’s hard to do.”

While Cash Refund takes it easy, Margolis will have horses for two other upcoming Fair Grounds sprint stakes. Early Return is set to contest the Gaudin on dirt Jan. 22, while Due Date is targeting the Feb. 19 Colonel Power on turf.

Margolis saddles entry for feature

Margolis has two horses for Friday’s featured ninth race, a second-level allowance also open to $40,000 claimers and carded for about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Credit Only and Be Me, both owned by the Klein family, are part of a coupled Margolis-trained entry, and either horse could contend in what looks on paper like a supremely contentious race.

Credit Only hasn’t started since March 6 at Fair Grounds, when he finished second to the brilliant but brittle Silver City in one of the 2009-10 meet’s fastest six-furlong dirt races. Credit Only, a 6-year-old by Langfuhr entered under the feature’s claiming option, has raced twice on turf, winning a Fair Grounds grass race in November 2009. Credit Only, with Brian Hernandez Jr. named to ride, has posted six timed workouts for his comeback and Margolis does well with long-layoff starters, but Credit Only might find himself in a tough spot Friday. He has been on or near the lead in his last eight starts and could face pace pressure from several quick horses drawn to his outside.

Be Me, with Corey Lanerie named, has a more versatile running style and exits an entry-level allowance win Dec. 12, but he has never started on turf and ran poorly in his only synthetic-surface race.

Future Covenant and Allworkandnoplay both have won entry-level turf-sprint allowance races at the current meet, while Evacuation Route won one last season and finished a closing third just behind Future Covenant in a second-level allowance last month. Southern Region makes his first start since being claimed for $25,000 in August and has never finished worse than third in six Fair Grounds turf races.