March 28, 2023

Mr. Money charges up the rail to win Ack Ack

Mr Money
Mr Money wins the Ack Ack Stakes (Coady Photography)

Mr. Money regained some lost luster with a sharp win in Saturday’s $100,000 Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs, snapping a six-race losing streak with the 1 1/4-length decision. The 4-year-old colt will now point to the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland for owners Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm.

A four-time Grade 3 winner last season, Mr. Money blew open a close race in midstretch by closing fast along the rail to take a clear advantage, and he completed the one-turn mile in 1:34.85. Gabe Saez was up for trainer Bret Calhoun, and the bay son of Goldencents has now earned $1,360,430 from a 17-6-3-0 record.

Mr. Money saved ground throughout, stalking just behind the leaders in third as 13-10 favorite Warrior’s Charge established fast opening splits in :22.61 and :44.85 with American Anthem chasing in second, but he was forced to check slightly entering the far turn behind the pacesetter.

After losing a little ground through the bend, Mr. Money found his best stride while straightening for home and accelerated through a narrow gap up the rail to take command. The winner left the starting gate as the 6-1 third choice in the 12-horse field.

“Gabe worked out a perfect trip on him,” Calhoun said. “I thought his last few tries weren’t a fair assessment of who this horse is. He showed us who he was today. He loves this track and got to run out of his own stall.”

“We sat a perfect trip,” Saez added. “This horse hasn’t had things go his way this year and showed us the real Mr. Money today.”

Bourbon Currency and Thirstforlife, who were both forced to close wide from well off the pace, rallied belatedly into the frame in deep stretch, with 15-1 Bourbon Currency getting up by a nose for second. Thirstforlife was a half-length clear in third at 39-1. Dinar, Ebben, Pioneer Spirit, Bankit, Warrior’s Charge, Everfast, Alkhaatam, Home Base, and American Anthem completed the order.

Mr. Money won the West Virginia Derby (G3), Indiana Derby (G3), Pat Day Mile (G3), and Matt Winn (G3), and he also finished second in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) last year. He was unplaced in four previous outings this season.

Bred in Kentucky by Spruce Lane Farm, Mr. Money was purchased for $130,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale. He’s out of the Tiznow mare Plenty O’Toole, and this is the immediate female family of 2009 Dubai World Cup (G1) winner and $5.1 million earner Well Armed.