Mr. Money Continues Rise Up 3-Year-Old Ranks With G2 Indiana Derby Score

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Highly regarded by his connections throughout his young career, Mr. Money built a three-race win streak, all in graded stakes, with a victory July 13 in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand.

Favored at odds of 1-5 off a victory for Chester Thomas' Allied Racing Stable and trainer Bret Calhoun in the June 15 Matt Winn Stakes (G3), the 3-year-old son of Goldencents successfully avoided loose horse Eskenforit, who stumbled badly at the start and dropped jockey Julien Leparoux, then continued to race close to the field for the remainder of the 1 1/16-mile race. 

Alwaysmining showed the way early Saturday, posting fractions of :23.89 and :47.62 under pressure from Long Range Toddy, while Mr. Money got over from the outside post in a field of 11 and rated third in the three path. The bay colt began his advance to second under Gabriel Saez through three-quarters in 1:11.40, had to move inside slightly to avoid the loose horse, and shifted back out to make an earnest bid off the turn for home.  

"I saw a horse next to me and I was like, 'Who's moving too early?'" Saez said. "And when I looked around, I saw it was the loose horse. I gave my horse a little break again, and when I asked him to pick it up and get the job done down the lane, he responded really well to it."

The mile went in 1:35.70 as Mr. Money galloped down to the line with Eskenforit on his outside. The winner finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of runner-up Gray Magician while Math Wizard checked in third behind a final time of 1:41.80 on a fast main track. 

"He put me in a good position, so I was just talking to him all the way around—'Come on, son, relax. Let's go. We're going to get this done,'" Saez said. "I was trying to get him to relax, and when I asked him to get the job done, he exploded. I'm just really glad he won the way he did today. I'm really happy with the horse, the combination of Bret and the guys doing a fabulous job with this horse. It seems like the hard work is paying off."

Calhoun described the anxious moments as he watched the race.

"We got a good break, saved ground around the first turn—we were getting a really good trip," he said. "Obviously, there were anxious moments all the way around with the loose horse, who stayed in the middle of them. Usually they'll go to the outside and pull up and get away from it. But that horse stayed in the middle of it the whole way."

"It looked like we had a lot of horse. In the middle of the turn, I thought we were just waiting for him to pull the trigger. I know Gabe was waiting and watching that loose horse and didn't know what direction he was going to go. There were some anxious moments."
The $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 24 at Saratoga Race Course is not out of the question for Mr. Money, although the colt could find softer competition in the Aug. 3 West Virginia Derby (G3) or Sept. 21 Pennsylvania Derby (G1). 

"We'll see how he comes out of this race and make a decision," Calhoun said. "The West Virginia Derby is a little quick, coming back in three weeks. But then you get a good break to the Pennsylvania Derby. Or we can decide to go to Saratoga to go to the Travers and take on the top echelon."

Mr. Money was supplemented to the 1 1/16-mile Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs, where he finished fourth, off his maiden win going the same distance at third asking at the Louisville track. He kicked off his win streak with a victory in the May 4 Pat Day Mile Stakes (G3) at Churchill before stretching back out to 1 1/16 miles in the Matt Winn.

"He's just become a very professional racehorse," Calhoun said. "He's handling everything well. This was a little bit of an obstacle to overcome. It was his first time shipping to a track and winning. He shipped in here and was able to get the job done. I know some people were trying to put holes in his armor. He'd never won on a track other than Churchill Downs, and he kind of proved that today."

"There was a lot of nervous energy going into this race," Thomas said. "We passed up an opportunity to go to New Jersey (for the Haskell Invitational, G1) and came here. There were some really good horses in here. I really got nervous going into that (far) turn with the loose horse. But Gabe got the job done. Bret, his team did an awesome job. Everybody here at Indiana have been so good to us, and we couldn't be prouder. We're just really tickled."

Bred in Kentucky by Spruce Lane Farm, Mr. Money is from the first crop out Goldencents and is the second foal out of the Tiznow mare Plenty O'Toole. The colt was foaled at Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, Kentucky and sold privately to Peter O'Callaghan. Allied Racing purchased Mr. Money from O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm consignment at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His record now stands at four wins and two seconds from nine starts, with earnings of $773,220.

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com