12/23/2009 12:00AM

Margolis's star sprinter starts again

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NEW ORLEANS - Cash Refund has been on the sidelines with a hairline fracture since finishing a close second in the May 16 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Steve Margolis went the cautious route, giving Cash Refund ample time to recover before starting him back in training.

Fully healed, Cash Refund will start his comeback Sunday at Fair Grounds in a second-level optional $40,000 claiming sprint.

Cash Refund, a 3-year-old gelded son of Petionville, began his career in February at Fair Grounds with a dominating 6 3/4-length victory in a maiden race. For an encore, he tackled a first-level allowance at Churchill in April, rating for the first half-mile before taking over and winning by seven lengths. That effort earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 110.

Cash Refund met a very game Capt. Candyman Can in the Matt Winn. The pair hooked up for a dramatic stretch duel that ended with Cash Refund falling three-quarters of lengths short in second.

That effort was enough to target the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes on July 5 at Monmouth, but Cash Refund suffered a slight injury while training.

"He had the start of a fracture, nothing that required surgery," said Margolis. "He needed time and we gave him the time and a little extra."

On the shelf and out of training for five months, Cash Refund has been working over the Fair Grounds main track toward his return to the races.

"He's been working steadily, and everything seems good," said Margolis. "He rehabbed it well, and this is a good spot for him to return to the races."

Cash Refund will face seven opponents, including Marvel Wood, who is making the second start on his own comeback trail.

In his first race back after more than a year on the sidelines, Marvel Wood tried the Thanksgiving Handicap here, finishing sixth, more than 10 lengths back.

"He needed that race, but he's been working good," said trainer Eric Guillot. "He had a fracture and had a screw put in."

With six victories in hand, Marvel Wood enters this race for the $40,000 claiming price, as does the always tough Moyer's Pond.

Moyer's Pond has been in the money in 10 of his 12 races in 2009, including a victory at this level in September over the Polytrack at Turfway.