OCEANPORT, NJ – After being caught just before the wire in two straight prior races on the day, jockey Javier Castellano finally managed to stave off the competition aboard Money Multiplier in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes.
It was Castellano’s first win on the day after finishing second three times, including in the Grade 3, $100,000 Monmouth Cup.
Trained by Chad Brown, the 5-year-old ridgling was making his 2017 debut after a nine-month layoff following a sixth-place finish in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf last November.
“He broke really well,” Castellano said. “I felt that the pace was slow, so I didn’t want to move too early on him. I got him to the outside and in the clear and he started to roll. You saw how fit he was when he was just galloping along at the 1/2-mile pole. He seemed to just enjoy the ride the way he did it.”
Smooth Daddy set a slow pace early, cutting fractions of :25.34 and :50.24. Shortly before hitting the 1/2-mile marker, Money Multiplier suddenly surged forward from his stalking position and overtook the leader heading into the far turn.
Cutting splits of 1:17.07 and 1:36.29, Money Multiplier rounded off the far turn and began to pull away from the rest of the field, finishing 1 1/2 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:47.91. Irish Strait and Kharafa gave chase but were unable to catch the eventual winner and crossed second and third, respectively. Smooth Daddy, Thatcher Street, and Bolting completed the order.
“He ran good,” Brown said. “It didn’t quite work out the way I thought, with him getting jammed up behind a really slow pace. Javier used good judgment to pull him out of there and just pass everyone. When you have someone like Javier, with his level of experience, he can call those audibles in the middle of a race.”
A graded stakes-placed finisher on five previous occasions, this was Money Multiplier’s first career graded stakes victory. Owned by William Lawrence and Klaravich Stables, Inc., the son of Lookin At Lucky increased his career earnings to $773,917 with the $120,000 winner’s share.
Money Multiplier returned $3.80 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Irish Strait brought back $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Kharafa paid $2.40 to show.