Mr. Money Is On the Muscle & Right On The Money in Wednesday Workout

(Mr. Money after winning the G3 Pat Day Mile — impressively / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Mr. Money has been nothing but money in the bank the last four starts of his career.

Win in the G3 Pat Day Mile.

Win in the G3 Matt Winn Stakes.

Win in the G3 Indiana Derby.

Win in the G3 West Virginia Derby.

Truth be known, none of them were even close.

Mr. Money cashed easily in all of them.

Now, the 3-year-old colt — owned by the personable Chester Thomas of Madisionville, KY., and trained by the classy W. Bret Calhoun — will see if his exchange rate adds up in the $1 Million, G1 Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Parx Race Track.

Now, Mr. Money is likely to face the likes of Maximum Security — the only horse ever DQ’d after winning the Kentucky Derby for interference, and the winner of the G1 Haskell Invitational in another controversial run at the top of the stretch.

Now, Mr. Money may even face the likes of Game Winner — the 2YO Champ of a year ago and most recent winner of the Los Alamitos Derby. He was derailed from an attempt to run in the G1 Travers after he spiked a fever at Del Mar a few weeks back.

Now, he may even face the likes of some other top 3YOs, who are hellbent on making a splash in a rich purse pool and ready to stamp their ticket to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

But by all appearances sake, Mr. Money looks, well, right on the money. Still.

In fact, Mr. Money may be getting better.

This morning, the son of Goldencents rocked the Churchill Downs’ alarm clark and the clocker’s stop watch all at the same time. The early riser cranked out a sensational 5 furlong work in an eye-popping :58.20 time. That was the bullet move out of 31 to test the distance this morn. In fact, the second fastest work at the distance came in at :59.40 — a full second and .20 slower. Or, about 51/4 lengths slower.

Amazing.

Amazingly fast.

Amazingly good.

When we contacted Calhoun this morning and asked if Mr. Money was magnificent today, the trainer responded via text message with this:

“Yes. Very impressive.”

I would say so.

All around said so.

Kevin Kerstein, who works for the Churchill Downs publicity department and one of the most astute followers of the sport and game, had this to say:

“Mr. Money just had one of his vest works I’ve ever seen,” Kerstein tweeted about 7 a.m. today. “5F: 58.20 with Gabe Saez sitting chilly. Splits: 12.20, :23.60, :35 and :46.60. Out 6F 1:10.80 and 7F 1:25.60. #Freak.”

I agree with Kevin. (Did I mention that he is as good a judge of horse flesh as there is on the backside?)

Freak.

As in good “Freak.”

Now, in a couple of weeks, Calhoun and his prized pupil will make their next road trip. Up to Philly. Up to Parx. Up to the G1 Pennsylvania Derby.

All systems go?

“Yes,” texted Calhoun.

After today, a less modest man may have written:

“Hell yes.”

 

 

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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