Multiplier, ridden by James Graham, just got up for a narrow victory in the Illinois Derby on Saturday at Hawthorne.
It was the second-fastest running in the history of the race, timed in 1:47.98.
Graham had Multiplier racing just out of striking distance in the early going in a ground-saving trip. They started making up ground around the far turn while continuing to run along the rail. As the field turned for home, Graham angled Multiplier to the outside and closed well to just nip Hedge Fund at the wire.
“Turning for home I was pretty sure we were going to get there," Graham said. "For a moment when Jose’s horse (Hedge Fund) spurted away, he kind of caught my horse flat, but Multiplier went right after him all the way to the wire and got up by maybe a neck.”
Multiplier, trained by Brendan Walsh, took the lead after fractions of :23.47, :47.24, 1:11.09 and 1:35.57. He finished a head ahead of favored Hedge Fund. It was another 4 3/4 lengths back to It’s Your Nickel in third.
“He might have settled a bit too well. He’s kind of lazy," Graham joked. "But he has a great career ahead of him. Have you seen him? He’s gorgeous. All kidding aside, he’s a beautiful horse and Brendan has done a great job with him. I’m just happy to be a part of this.
Multiplier earned $150,000 for the victory, boosting his career earnings to $187,310.
Multipler was made 4-1 by bettors and paid $10.80, $5.20 and $3.80.
Edited Hawthorne release