The much-anticipated matchup between Richard, Bertram and
Elaine Klein’s Cash Refund and Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk in a
$53,000 allowance optional claiming Saturday at Fair Grounds lived up to
its billing, giving guests at the local oval and simulcast fans across the
continent one of the most exciting stretch duels seen during the 2010-2011
Thoroughbred Racing Season in New Orleans.
When it was over, with Cash Refund losing his pacesetting
lead briefly to Backtalk at the furlong grounds but coming back gamely to best
that rival by a neck, those who witnessed the six-furlong sprint either in
person or on a television screen could not deny they had seen Thoroughbred
racing as it was meant to be.
Naturally, Steve Margolis and Tom Amoss, Cash
Refund and Backtalk’s trainers listed in the respective order of their horses’
Saturday finish, had different sentiments concerning the outcome but both
conditioners reported that their horses came out of the race without noticeable
problems and were doing well Sunday morning.
“Cash Refund came back great,” said Margolis Sunday morning
of his charge who won both the $75,000 Gaudin Memorial and $105,000 Duncan
F. Kenner Stakes last season here. “We have Early Return (this
season’s $60,000 Bonapaw runner-up also owned by the Kleins) being pointed for
the Gaudin (Jan. 22) and Due Date (this season’s Bonapaw winner owned by the
Kleins) getting ready for the ($60,000) Colonel Power (to be run Feb.
19) so we’ll probably wait with Cash Refund and bring him back in the Kenner (March
26) at the end of the season.”
“(Backtalk) is fine,” said Amoss Sunday morning of his
Smarty Jones colt who won Churchill’s Grade III Bashford Manor
and Saratoga’s Grade
II Sanford as a juvenile and was third in this season’s Bonapaw, “but his
race yesterday was very disappointing. Steve’s horse got an easy lead yesterday
and I think that hurt our chances. Right now, I don’t know what will be next
for Backtalk. I’ll have to think about it.”