05/19/2009 12:00AM

Grand Cash comes up big


MIAMI - Dave Vivian needed someone to step up and help pay the bills while his big horse Soldier's Dancer gets some well-deserved rest and relaxation this summer. Along came Grand Cash to fill the void.

Grand Cash, a 3-year-old son of Belong to Me, looked like the spitting image of his older stablemate on Sunday, rallying from dead last to post a half-length victory over Cinnamon Road in the Lord Juban overnight stakes.

Grand Cash had been campaigning primarily in the starter-allowance ranks for the majority of his young career, although he did step up to win an entry-level allowance race in his 2009 debut this winter at Gulfstream Park. The Lord Juban was only Grand Cash's second start since Feb. 20, but Vivian was confident his stretch-running colt would turn in a big effort.

"He's not generally a fast work horse but he had been training super for this race," said Vivian, who trains Grand Cash for owner Douglas Gibson. "He won an allowance race at Gulfstream earlier this year in which you couldn't buy some of the horses who finished behind him that day. But then he didn't pick his feet up in a couple of starter races, so I just gave him a little time off."

The Lord Juban was contested over a turf course listed as yielding following several days of rain, and was the only race on the grass here last weekend.

"I was going to start him, even if the race came off the turf," Vivian said. "He probably would have been 20-1 instead of 6-1, but he hadn't raced in a while, and there was no place else to run him."

Grand Cash settled at the rear of the pack under leading rider Manoel Cruz for the opening six furlongs of the one-mile Lord Juban as the 8-5 favorite Cinnamon Road controlled the pace as expected. Cinnamon Road settled into the stretch with a seemingly comfortable advantage before Grand Cash unleashed a powerful closing surge.

"I was hoping the softer turf might make the speed die and help us," Vivian said. "I wasn't going to change his style and try to keep him closer to Cinnamon Road. If you start doing that, he wouldn't have the same type of kick at the end."

As for Soldier's Dancer, Vivian said he returned to training late last week after getting two months off to recuperate from a hard campaign that saw him travel to Philadelphia Park, Santa Anita, and the Fair Grounds for three of his previous six starts. The 5-year-old earned his biggest payday when he rallied from last to a half-length decision over Grade 1 winner Presious Passion in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita in his 2009 bow. He also won the Grade 3 Miami Mile over his home course of Calder and the President's Cup at Philadelphia Park during that six-race span.

"He went everywhere and ran hard every time and was tucked up like a greyhound after his last start at the Fair Grounds and needed a break," Vivian said. "I'm not looking at anything for him at the moment, since he's at least three months from a race."

Annabill sold, headed to Monmouth

Trainer Milt Wolfson took his tough setback with Cinnamon Road in stride, despite the fact the colt appeared home free after opening a big lead at midstretch.

"I knew Prince Joshua would push us early, and we were coming back a little quick," said Wolfson, referring to the fact that Cinnamon Road had just won a mid-priced claiming race on the turf eight days earlier. "But this race came up, and he seemed to be doing well, so we gave it a try."

Like Vivian, Wolfson also has a big void to fill in his stable, although his is permanent. He sold his multiple-stakes-winning mare Annabill privately earlier this month for an undisclosed price.

"Steve DiMauro bought the filly and took her to Monmouth Park for the summer," Wolfson said. "She was like a member of the family to me, but there was just nothing here for her for quite a while, and it made no sense to sit around all summer and not run her."

Annabill went out a winner for Wolfson. The 6-year-old daughter of Outflanker captured the Emergency Nurse Stakes on April 25, swelling her earnings to more than $666,000. The Emergency Nurse was Annabill's 18th victory, all but two having come at Calder.

Wolfson also is patiently awaiting the outcome of his appeal of Annabill's second-place finish behind Amazing in the $200,000 Elmer Heubeck Stakes nearly seven months earlier. Annabill had to take up behind the drifting leader in late stretch before re-rallying to drop a tough nose decision. A claim of foul against the winner was disallowed by the stewards.

"We haven't heard a word from the state on our appeal in months," Wolfson said. "My lawyer said this kind of thing could drag on for two years."

Smooth Air works for Metropolitan Mile

Smooth Air worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 over a sloppy track here Monday morning, his final drill before shipping to New York for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile at Belmont Park.

Smooth Air, who has not started since capturing the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 14, covered his opening three furlongs in a slow 39.51 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form, before finishing the final quarter-mile in a sharp 23.09 over a racetrack that appeared to have a little more bounce to it than in recent weeks due to several days of rain.