11/18/2009 1:00AM

Flashy Wise Cat proves a wise buy


Catastrophe: That is the name of a Louisiana-bred sire who stood for a $1,200 stud fee during the 2009 breeding season. Catastrophe: That is what the purchase of Flashy Wise Cat might have been called had not trainer Troy Young and his father, the owner Lee Young, been right about the horse when that son of Catastrophe went through the auction ring at a Texas yearling sale in 2006.

Lee Young shelled out $100,000 for Flashy Wise Cat at that sale. The next-highest price ever paid for a son or daughter of Catastrophe is $25,000, the third-highest a mere $8,700. But with a sharp win on Saturday in an open Louisiana-bred allowance race, Flashy Wise Cat now has four victories, second among the progeny of Catastrophe. He also is Catastrophe's third-leaning earner, and with a bankroll of $110,000, Flashy Wise Cat has earned back his purchase price.

And there may be more to come. Flashy Wise Cat never had raced anywhere but Evangeline Downs before Saturday, and though he had been first or second in six of his seven starts, the Saturday breakthrough probably was a career best.

"That was the first time he got to run in the wintertime," said Troy Young. "I think the heat took a little toll on this horse. I think that might have made the difference."

Next up for Flashy Wise Cat is the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint next month. Flashy Wise Cat will have had a month to recover from his 1:09-and-change six furlongs last weekend, and Young said Flashy Wise Cat "came out of the race really good."

Things didn't go nearly as well Sunday for Master Link, who was heavily favored in a filly-and-mare Louisiana-bred open sprint allowance. Master Link was in tight for much of the race, was checked just past the half-mile pole, and then went up into a tiny hole that quickly closed at the top of the stretch, losing all chance there. She wound up third, but could show much more on Champions Day.

Cash Refund back in training

The potentially brilliant sprinter Cash Refund is back in business after missing much of the season to injury. Cash Refund had the first breeze of his comeback on Tuesday at Fair Grounds, working three furlongs in 37 seconds, and trainer Steve Margolis said the 3-year-old gelding might be ready for a race before 2010.

Cash Refund debuted last February at Fair Grounds, winning a maiden sprint by more than six lengths. April 25, he won just as easily in a Churchill Downs entry-level allowance race, and in the May 6 Matt Winn there, he finished second by less than a length, giving subsequent Grade 1 winner Capt. Candyman Can everything he could handle.

"He had the start of a little condylar fracture, a nonsurgical issue," Margolis said of Cash Refund's layoff since the Matt Winn. "We had to let heal on its own, since it was nagging him a little. He was off 60 days totally, turned out for 30, and then we put him back in training."

Said Margolis, "We don't have a target date for a race or anything, but if things go well, by the end of December, he should be ready to start."

Lite the Cigar heads feature

More Louisiana-breds headline Friday's nine-race card, with race 8, a second-level turf-route allowance, the day's feature.

Lite the Cigar looks like a fairly solid favorite, despite entering on a nine-race losing streak. Most of Lite the Cigar's recent losses, however, came in races to which he wasn't ideally suited, but Lite the Cigar might be at his best over Friday's one-mile turf trip. And Lite the Cigar has a win, a second, and a close fourth in three tries over the Fair Grounds grass course.