LOUISVILLE, KY – Allied Racing Stable’s Mr. Money cut back in distance with great aplomb, waiting for the right moment before surging down the stretch to dominate Saturday’s Pat Day Mile Stakes (G3) Presented by LG and E and KU at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 7 under Gabriel Saez at 7/1 odds, Mr. Money sat off while his brother from another mother Mr Money Bags posted opening fractions of :22.21 and :45.42. Feeling that his steed was full of run and ready to explode, Saez expertly steered Mr. Money through the far turn, splitting horses and soon finding himself up front.
Straightening for home with nothing but daylight ahead, the Bret Calhoun trainee drew off for a commanding 5 1/4-length score in a final time of 1:35.21 over the fast main track.
“Great ride by (Saez),” said Calhoun. “He hit a little traffic and didn’t panic. He really couldn’t have waited any longer, couldn’t hold him any longer. I knew they’d be coming but when he split horses and got in the clear he looked like a winner.”
Similarly splitting horses but not having enough to catch the leader, Hog Creek Hustle was still able to get up for second by 2 1/2 lengths over Dream Maker, with Captain Von Trapp another 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth. Everfast took fifth by a 1/2-length over Frolic More, with Dunph crossing in seventh.
The even-money favorite Instagrand, at one point last summer considered the best horse in the crop, was hung wide throughout the race and never factored into the real running before finishing a disappointing eighth by a head over Last Judgment. Completing the order of finish came Durkin’s Call, Tobacco Road, Manny Wah, and a spent Mr Money Bags.
Market King was a late scratch as the horses neared the gate, while Global Campaign failed to draw in as an Also-Eligible.
Mr. Money’s win was his first since breaking his maiden on September 28 here while going 1 1/16 miles and improved his overall record to 7-2-2-0 with $400,080 earned. The 3-year-old son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents had failed to qualify for the Kentucky Derby after missing the board in three straight Derby prep races while going two turns.
“It was a good race for him,” Saez said. “He was finally able to get it back together again. I couldn’t have a better trip than that. Saving ground for later, I split horses turning for home and, man, the minute he was free, he explodes. He finished really well and handled the track and got the job done. He’s been doing fabulous, day by day, week by week. He’s been coming along, and I was just really happy with him today, and thought he would run a big race, and he did, he did.”
Mr. Money returned $17 to win, $8 to place, and $5.40 to show. Hog Creek Hustle brought back $14.20 to place and $8.60 to show, while Dream Maker paid $9.60 to show.