Money Moves breezes inside of workmate Dr. Post
Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed that allowance winner Money Moves will travel to Louisville for the Grade 1, $3 million Kentucky Derby on September 5 at Churchill Downs.
Pletcher has trained more Kentucky Derby starters than any other conditioner with 54 previous “Run for the Roses” entrants and will look to add to that total.
Money Moves worked five furlongs in 1:00.14 over Saratoga Race Course’s main track Friday, with his conditioner saying and he’s liked what he’s seen in the mornings from the son of multiple champion-producing stallion Candy Ride.
“The horse ran well last time and he’s been training sharply. I felt like this is an opportunity that you don’t get very often, so we’re taking a shot,” Pletcher said.
Money Moves will be making his first start against stakes company after finishing a game second to Prioritize in a 1 1/8-mile allowance event against older horses on July 25 at Saratoga. This was his first start since besting winners going a one-turn mile in March at Gulfstream Park.
“That was a lot to ask,” Pletcher said. “He got sick after his win at Gulfstream, so he missed some time, and to run a mile and an eighth off the layoff, I thought he showed a lot of determination in that race. It’s a tall order, but he’s given us all the right indications that he’s ready to step up and give it a try.”
Money Moves will be a ninth Kentucky Derby starter for co-owner Robert LaPenta and a first for Jerry Bortolazzo. LaPenta sent out his first Derby starter with The Cliff’s Edge in 2004, who finished fifth as the fourth choice to Smarty Jones. His best finish in the Kentucky Derby was ten years ago when Ice Box was a late-closing second to Super Saver, who gave Pletcher his first Derby victory.
“He was keen to take a chance and for his partner, Jerry Bortolazzo, it has been a lifelong dream of his to have a horse in the Kentucky Derby,” said Pletcher, who also won the Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming in 2017. “These opportunities don’t come around but once and the horse has given us every reason to go forth and give it a try.”
Money Moves will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
Money Moves was purchased for $975,000 from the OBS 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last April. He is out of the Proud Citizen broodmare Citizen Advocate, who was a stakes winner over all three surfaces.
Dr Post, who initially was targeting the Kentucky Derby, will remain at the Spa and point to the Grade 2, $150,000 Jim Dandy on Saturday, September 5.
Owned by Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable, Dr Post was second to Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20 before finishing third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 16 at Monmouth Park.
Wertheimer and Frere’s Happy Saver is a perfect 2-for-2, including a romping four-length allowance win last out traveling nine furlongs on July 26 against older company that garnered a 96 Beyer. The Super Saver colt is under consideration for the Federico Tesio on September 7 at Laurel Park, which offers a berth in the Grade 1 Preakness on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.
The veteran conditioner will be busy on multiple fronts Saturday with Wertheimer and Frere’s Spinoff and Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbreds’ Moretti targeting the 10-furlong Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward on September 5.
The duo worked a half-mile in company on August 28 in 49.29.
“I was very happy with their breezes,” said Pletcher. “They came out of it well, so they’ll both take a shot at the Woodward.”
Photo Credit: NYRA