Our Last Buck scores first stakes win in Say Florida Sandy

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

Our Last Buck wins stakes debut in Saturday’s Say Florida Sandy. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Our Last Buck showed up in Michelle Nevin’s barn in the fall of 2019 with some, how shall we say, interesting traits for an older gelding.

“When we first got him, he was a very silly and nervous type of horse,” Nevin said. “But steadily over time he just has become more manageable and more relaxed. That’s really what’s helping him today.”

Our Last Buck showed just how much it helped Saturday at Aqueduct when he rallied from off the pace to win the $100,000 Say Florida Sandy in an upset of odds-on favorite Funny Guy. Kendrick Carmouche rode J and N Stables’ 7-year-old homebred son of Courageous Cat to a 3 3/4-length victory in the 7-furlong stakes.

“I was a winner when I left the gate,” Carmouche said. “My horse broke sharp. I just wanted to make sure I stayed close to the favorite [Funny Guy] and he had me in a stalking position the whole time.

“Michelle didn’t give me any instructions, she just said, ‘do what’s best’. The horse ran his race. I’m just very pleased with him at the age of 7 competing against these young boys. He showed that he can still do it. He’s a consistent horse, so I just had to ride him to his ability.”

Coming off a win in an open-company allowance Dec. 12 at Aqueduct, Our Last Buck showed no signs of nerves in the Say Florida Sandy. He raced fourth early while Runningscissors set the pace through the opening half-mile through splits of :22.96 and :46.93 ahead of fellow Nevin trainee My Boy Tate. Funny Guy, the 4-5 favorite coming in off a strong season in 2020 that featured three restricted stakes wins, tracked in third through the half with Our Last Buck fourth and just 3 lengths back.

Carmouche kept Our Last Buck close to the rail around the far turn and angled the gelding out turning for home. They took command a furlong from the finish, past 6 furlongs in 1:12.41 and edged clear while Funny Guy got up for second, 3 ¾ lengths clear of Runningwscissors. Our Last Buck won in 1:25.11

“Kendrick gave him an awesome ride,” Nevin said. “You could see around the far turn that he still had plenty of horse. When he pulled him out, he really fired for him.”

Our Last Buck improved to 6-for-18 with earnings of $273,990 after his first stakes victory. He won four of eight starts last year to go with two seconds. In 10 starts for Nevin, who took over training Our Last Buck from George Weaver in late 2019, he’s only finished worse than fourth once.

“He’s run on several different types of tracks,” Nevin said. “He always just seems to put up a big effort.”

Bred by Gerardus Jameson and foaled at Sundial Farm in Amsterdam, Our Last Buck is out of the Prosper Fager mare Buck Mountain.

Buck Mountain won four of 30 starts, placed in two stakes and earned $218,001 for Jameson. She’s produced seven winners from her seven that have started, including Our Last Buck’s 5-year-old full sibling Escrow Finnidilly.

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