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Allied Racing Stable's Mr. Money stretched his speed to win Saturday's Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, adding to a resume that already included a win in the G3 Pat Day Mile. The 3-year-old son of Goldencents, ridden by Gabriel Saez for trainer Bret Calhoun, stalked the early pace and drew clear in the lane to win by open lengths. Favored at odds of 3-5 at post time, Mr. Money completed 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:42.28.
“That was about as easy as you can do it,” said Saez. “This horse has been so impressive all along and Bret and his team's hard work is paying off. I'm so thankful to Bret and Chester (Thomas) for letting me ride this horse. The 1 1/16-mile distance was a little test tonight. He certainly proved he can do it.”
Knicks Go was quick out of the gate to lead the pack through early fractions of :24.19 and :47.80, while Saez kept a tight hold on Mr. Money in second on the outside. Proverb was also up close while Armistice Day kept pace three wide entering the backstretch, and Signalman tracked the speed from mid-pack.
Approaching the far turn, Mr. Money inched into contention without being asked. Signalman also made a bold move while Proverb was awaiting running room down on the inside.
When asked, Mr. Money sped away from the field to win by at 6 1/2 lengths. Signalman held second, and Proverb was able to move up the rail into third after being checked at least twice behind an erratically-fading Knicks Go. Armistice Day finished fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Spruce Lane Farm, Mr. Money was a $130,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. Fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the colt was briefly on the Kentucky Derby trail but found his niche at slightly shorter distances to record his first graded stakes win in the Pat Day Mile. The Matt Winn improves his overall record to three wins and two seconds from eight starts for earnings just shy of $500,000.
“The way this horse was training after the Pat Day Mile, we had an idea he'd run a big race,” Calhoun added. “Gabe rode him perfectly tonight and he's proving his talent, that's for sure.”
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