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Only Take Cash Takes The Most

Published: September 15, 2018 5:33 pm ET

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With a solid selection of trotting talent slated to compete at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night, many would likely think that the richest freshman trotter of 2018 would be one of those competing in the Peaceful Way or the William Wellwood. If not, then that trotter surely raced on Hambletonian Day. Both of those assumptions would be incorrect.

As of press time for this article, the richest two-year-old trotter of the season regardless of sex is Only Take Cash. The filly, bred, owned and trained by Bob McIntosh, has banked $243,550 from her eight seasonal starts -- the most recent of which was a strong five-plus length win in her Ohio Sires Stakes Super Final on Sept. 8.

The filly's success is bittersweet for McIntosh, in more ways than one. Only Take Cash is the product of two McIntosh pupils -- sire Cash Hall and dam Armbro Affair. Armbro Affair was a $185,000 yearling purchase by McIntosh back in 2001.

"She was a sweetheart of a yearling," McIntosh said of Armbro Affair. "As a two-year-old she had an OCD in a stifle and we had to send her to Kentucky to get it out, and then she took off [as a racehorse] and went on to win the aged Breeders Crown. It worked out."

What didn't work out as well for Amrbro Affair was her next career as a broodmare. In the words of McIntosh, she had a hard time getting in foal and staying in foal so foals of hers were few and far between. Before Only Take Cash, Armbro Affair only had four siblings in 11 years of mating attempts. Perhaps the best choice for a mate was one seemingly under McIntosh's nose for the past decade.

"As it turned out Cash Hall was the right cross and I owned part of him the entire time," said McIntosh with a chuckle.

"This filly, she looks a lot like her mother. Her mother wasn't that big and she's not that big either. Smaller filly, but just hardly touches the ground...very light on her feet. Around the barn she's got a snarl to her, and she's like her dad that way. The girl who looks after her, Mary Henderson, does a great job with her."

Hindsight on that cross is 20/20 now that Only Take Cash has proven her talent on the racetrack. A look at her stakes engagements, however, shows that her options aren't all that plentiful. McIntosh started to regret that decision to stake sparsely after her first start.

"She trained okay all winter; she always had a slick, slick gait. But her mother just hadn't thrown that stakes horse so I went the conservative route. It turned out okay. The Ohio Sires Stakes, it's all about the final and she stayed healthy for that.

"The other night at Scioto it was pouring rain, it was a dirty, dirty night, cold and raining hard...on the track she's just a total professional. Goes to the paddock, behaves herself and relaxes, warms up, relaxes, and in the race you can drive her with two fingers. Aaron Merriman said she's like a Cadillac."

The week before the OHSS Super Final on a better surface, Only Take Cash trotted to a 1:56 track record at Scioto. McIntosh termed that effort as a "jiggy-jog" and said the filly wasn't asked by any stretch.

"It looks good for next year as we've never been to the bottom of her tank. I always say that if you squeeze the lemon too tight as a two-year-old you're going to pay for it as a three-year-old."

Only Take Cash is slated to make her final start of the year this Wednesday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in a division of the Ohio Breeders Championships before a well-deserved rest heading into her sophomore season.

Bred by McIntosh along with longtime partners CSX Stables, Only Take Cash impressed enough for others to invest over the course of her freshman campaign. Dave Boyle, a longtime McIntosh partner, bought in after watching the filly train prior to her pari-mutuel racing career. She also caught the attention of owner Marv Chantler, who purchased 50 percent of the filly -- the part owned by CSX -- after her OHSS race at Northfield.

"They're both top-class owners and you couldn't ask for better people as friends. We're enjoying the ride."

McIntosh plans more Grand Circuit racing for Only Take Cash as a sophomore, admitting he'd love to see what she could do against the North America's best in the Breeders Crown.

"She's only been beat once and that was her first start at Cleveland, she had an outside post and just about got there," said McIntosh. "If we could have supplemented her to the two-year-old Breeders Crown we were all for doing it...but we can't do it so we'll be happy with what we've got."

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