02/06/2013 2:17PM

Fair Grounds notes: Cash Refund gets new home

Barbara D. Livingston
Two of Cash Refund's most memorable races were back-to-back nose defeats to Gantry in the Thanksgiving Handicap and Gaudin Memorial at the 2011-12 Fair Grounds meet.

Cash Refund, winner of the 2010 Duncan Kenner Stakes and an earner of $367,376, left the Steve Margolis barn at Fair Grounds early Wednesday for his new retirement home at the Forest Lane Farm of Charlie and Amy Lopresti on the outskirts of Lexington, Ky.

Cash Refund is “going out 100 percent sound,” said Richard Klein, whose family bred and owns the 7-year-old gelding. “We just never wanted to put him in a claiming race. He’s done more than enough for us. Now he’ll have a good home running around there on the farm with Wise Dan and Successful Dan, at least until they go back to the track.”

Cash Refund, by Petionville, was fourth in a Jan. 25 allowance at Fair Grounds in his final career start. Two of his most memorable races resulted in back-to-back nose defeats to Gantry in the Thanksgiving Handicap and Gaudin Memorial at the 2011-12 meet.

Trainers in close race

The trainers’ race is unusually tight with less than two months remaining in the Fair Grounds meet. Coming into the four-day race week Thursday, Bret Calhoun and Tom Amoss were tied with 21 wins atop the standings, with Wes Hawley, enjoying a tremendous meet, next with 19 wins. Then came Larry Jones (16), Steve Asmussen (15), and Al Stall Jr. (14).

Calhoun led all trainers in stable earnings with nearly $750,000.

Nelson entry tough in feature

Trainer Eric Nelson Jr. has a heavily favored entry in Mr. Bandini’s Band and Rock Time in the nominal Friday feature, the $40,000 South Mississippi Owners and Breeders.

The six-furlong race goes as the sixth of 11 on a Friday card that starts at 1 p.m. Central. It is restricted to 3-year-olds who “comply with the bylaws” of the association sponsoring the race. Two of the nine starters are Kentucky-breds and the rest are Louisiana-breds, while three of the nine are fillies.

Nelson, based at Delta Downs, seems to be specializing in such niche races: He sent out Abama Light to win the $50,000 Magic City Classic for Alabama-breds on Dec. 30 at Fair Grounds as a 43-1 shot.

** As usual, Fair Grounds will host its only Tuesday card of the year when the $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes coincides with the world-renowned New Orleans bash this coming Tuesday. Entries for the six-furlong filly-mare race and the other eight Mardi Gras Day races will be drawn Friday. First post will be 1 p.m.

** The next “Starlight Racing” Friday card with a 5 p.m. first post is scheduled for Feb. 22.