Notes & Quotes From the G3, $500,000 Indiana Derby: Mr. Money

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

(Mr. Money, shown here winning the G3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs earlier this year. Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Mr. Money, rapidly becoming one of the top 3-year-olds in the country for owner Chester Thomas and trainer W. Bret Calhoun, continued his recent torrid form on Saturday night when he overcame a bunch of fledging rivals — including a riderless horse — to win the 11/16-mile Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand race course.

Mr. Money, a son of Goldencents and stabled at Churchill Downs since traveling North from his winter home at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, stalked the leaders throughout the early going and down the backstretch before he was given his instructions by rider Gabriel Saez to move coming out of the final turn.

Suddenly and boldly, Mr. Money swept past Alwaysming, and then dispersed of Long Range Toddy to pull away in the stretch for an impressive and easy victory.

Gary Magician rallied late, but was no threat to the winner, to grab second. Math Wizard finished third in the 11-horse field.

The main competition, oddly enough, came from Eskenforit — who dropped his rider, Julien Leparoux, at the start when he stumbled badly leaving the age.  The riderless horse zoomed up to the leaders on the backside and then made a rush at Mr. Money as the duo made their way to the finish line.

When contacted, via text, after the race, Calhoun wrote:

“Never can be easy can it? Always has to be a little drama!”

Calhoun did go on to write:

“(Mr. Money) Ran great, got a great trip from the 11 post other than the loose horse.”

It has not been decided on what race may be next in Mr. Money’s future. But the colt may be pointed to the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga later this summer if he comes out of the Indiana Derby in good form, and returns to the track with the same fervor that he has shown of late.

Stay tuned.

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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