Class relief was not enough for Grade 2 winners Sweet Melania and Tamahere on Wednesday at Saratoga as neither were able to run down loose-on-the-lead winner I'llhandalthecash in a third-level allowance.
I'llhandalthecash, a 19-1 long shot in a field of six, posted an opening quarter mile in a tepid 25.45 on firm turf under Tyler Gaffalione and continued on the lead before repelling a bid by Sweet Melanie at the top of the stretch to snap a seven-race winning streak.
Tamahere, the 1-2 favorite who was exiting three straight Grade 1 tries for trainer Chad Brown, came on late to edge Sweet Melania for second after being a bit rank early under Irad Ortiz Jr. While the opening quarter-mile was the only internal fraction posted on the track feed, none are listed in the chart of the race. The final time for 1 1/16-miles was 1:43.32.
Trained by Michael Maker, I'llhandalthecash had been winless since taking the License Fee Stakes at Belmont Park in July 2020. The 5-year-old mare by Point of Entry has a record of 17: 4-1-2 with earnings of $268,022 for owners VinLaur Racing Stables, Dark Horse Racing Stable and Taste of Victory Stables.