11/23/2010 2:25PM

Kleins hoping for holiday gift at Churchill

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Tom Keyser
Cash Refund, here training for the BC Sprint earlier this month, returns in race 5 Thursday at Churchill.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Klein family experienced one of their many thrills in racing when Allamerican Bertie carried their familiar lime and black silks to victory in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day 2002. Bert and Elaine Klein and their son, Richard, will be hoping for another memorable holiday when Cash Refund makes his turf debut in one of four undercard allowance races Thursday at Churchill.

Cash Refund has never raced on turf, but Richard Klein, who oversees the family’s racing operations, believes the speedy 4-year-old colt should prove more than capable over the surface. Cash Refund, most recently eighth in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Sprint on the Churchill main track, is the program favorite in the fifth race, a $68,540 turf sprint with wide-open conditions.

“He always trained great on the Polytrack at Keeneland, and he’s got a pedigree that says he could really excel on the grass,” said Klein.

The Kleins and their main trainer, Steve Margolis, had Due Date run sixth in the BC Turf Sprint, and they could have brought him back on Thursday.

“But we’re saving Due Date for a race at the Fair Grounds, and we don’t want to run these two against each other,” Klein said.

Cash Refund, a winner in 5 of 9 career starts, will have Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard when he breaks from post 8 in the five-furlong race. Affirmatif, with Garrett Gomez riding for Todd Pletcher, looks like his strongest threat.

The Thursday card also includes a $63,620 allowance sprint (race 8) in which Gomez and Pletcher also rate highly with Commandeered. The eight-horse field also includes China, a sharp last-out winner, and Latigo Shore, exiting the Grade 1 Vosburgh.

Race 9 is a $61,280 allowance turf mile, which has Mimi’s Special Six as a lukewarm program favorite in an overflow field of fillies and mares.

Race 10 is a $66,060 main-track allowance mile in which Wise Dan, sixth in the BC Sprint, figures as a solid favorite over Glenwood Canyon and seven others.