Thomas, Calhoun Strike in Pat Day Mile with Mr. Money
By Dick Downey
No one knew yet how By My Standards would fare in the Kentucky Derby, but owner Chester Thomas and trainer Bret Calhoun won the Pat Day Mile in dominant fashion with Mr. Money, ridden by Gabriel Saez in a handy time of 1:35.21.
The race was not formful. Mr. Money was sent off at 7-1, Hog Creek Hustle was second at 16-1, Dream Maker was third at 16-1, and Captain Von Trapp finished fourth at 24-1. Instagrand, the even-money favorite, never got it going and finished eighth, beaten 15/34 lengths.
None of the top finishers were part of the fastest early mix. Mr Money Bags, Dunph and Manny Wah contested early fractions of 22.21 for the first quarter-mile and 45.42 for the half while Mr. Money, ridden by Gabriel Saez, sat 1 1/2 length back in fourth heading into the far turn.
In a powerful move, Mr. Money split horses on the far turn to surge to the front, then drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths.
Mr. Money returned $17.00, $8.00 and $5.40. Hog Creek Hustle, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $14.20 and $8.60 and finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Dream Maker who rallied for third under Julien Leparoux to pay $9.60 to show.
It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Captain Von Trapp, who was followed across the finish line by Everfast, Frolic More, Dunph, Instagrand, Last Judgment, Durkin’s Call, Tobacco Road, Manny Wah and Mr Money Bags.
Mr. Money is a Kentucky-bred son of Goldencents out of the Tiznow mare Plenty O’Toole. He was bred by Spruce Lane Farm.
The victory was worth $228,160 of the $400,000 purses and increased Mr. Money’s earning to $402,560. He has a record of 7-2-2-0 and most recently finished fifth, beaten eight lengths, in the Louisiana Derby won by stable mate By My Standards.
Gabriel Saez (rider of Mr. Money, winner) – “It was a good race for him. 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.”
Bret Calhoun (trainer of Mr. Money, winner) – “He was a little bit more forward than By My Standards over the winter. We thought we had a great plan for him during the winter. We freshened him after the Breeders’ Cup and he was doing really good coming into the Lecomte at Fair Grounds. He got a temperature the night before and missed that race. We thought we got him back on track quickly and it seemed like he was going into the next race really good. Two days before that race (the Risen Star), he trained phenomenally well. The day before he wasn’t quite the same and he got cast in his stall the night before. Nothing major, just a scratch on his hip, and it didn’t appear like there was anything wrong. But something wasn’t quite right that day.
“In the Louisiana Derby, he ran a good race, didn’t have a perfect trip. But he got up here, and he’s trained phenomenally well. We thought the Pat Day Mile would suit him. I don’t know how far he wants to go but based on the way he ran today, I don’t think going a little farther is going to stop him.
“Great ride by (Saez). 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.”
Corey Lanerie (rider of Hog Creek Hustle, runner-up) – “Coming from the 13 hole, the race set up really well for me. I put myself right behind Instagrand, who was the horse to beat, and traveled well right behind him. We found a seam on the inside at the three-eighths pole, pointed toward it, and followed the winner. He just kicked home harder than we did.”
Vickie Foley (trainer of Hog Creek Hustle, runner-up) – "He ran well. He was a little fresher than I needed him to be. He was coming off two turns and was laying a little closer than normal, but he ran super. He didn't have that real strong kick that we're used to, but this is a tough race and we're happy. There will be some more."
Julien Leparoux (rider of Dream Maker, third) – "My horse is not an easy horse to ride. First of all, he made the decision where he wanted to be and made a right after the start. He's a tough horse and I tried to keep him happy. He ran a big race, but it wasn't the greatest trip, but that's him. He always is like that."