Trainer De Alba Lands First Graded Win With Fast Buck


Photo: Benoit Photo
Fast Buck holds off Whatmakessammyrun to take the Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Former leading Quarter Horse jockey Cesar De Alba notched his first Thoroughbred graded stakes win as a trainer when Fast Buck  held on for a neck victory May 27 in the $101,000 Daytona Stakes (G3T) at Santa Anita Park.

Fast Buck, who also gave sire Gallant Son  his initial black-type victory, has been making his way up the turf sprinting ranks in California. After running through his allowance conditions, including a last-out May 7 score at Santa Anita where he scorched six furlongs in 1:08.01, the 6 1/2-furlong Daytona on the downhill turf course appeared the optimum spot for the speedy gelding.

Facing graded company for the first time, Fast Buck, piloted by Hector Berrios, blasted from the barrier fastest, widening his advantage to five lengths through an opening quarter in :21.05. Six lengths in front at the half-mile marker, zipped in :42.64, the field closed in on the pacesetter around the turn, with favored Whatmakessammyrun  making a bold challenge down the lane.

Fast Buck refused to fold, staving off Whatmakesammyrun and a late rail rally from Lovesick Blues , who showed. The victorious 5-year-old stopped the timer in 1:11.68 over a firm turf course and returned $6.20 for a $2 win ticket.

De Alba, who began training in 2019 and has a stable of both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses out of his base at Los Alamitos Race Course, is a part-owner of Fast Buck along with Zephyr Racing and Peter Cruz.

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Video: Daytona S. (G3T)