Who Took The Money with Deshawn Parker aboard wins the 31st running of the Louisiana Champions Day. (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr.)
Fair Grounds Press Release
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Even though he had won three of his last five starts on dirt, Allied Racing Stable’s Who Took the Money welcomed a return to grass, winning the rescheduled $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf in high-stepping fashion for trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Deshawn Parker.
Touchuponastar, who posted an upset over the 1-2 favorite in the Champions Day Classic on dirt, was scratched from Saturday’s Turf, opening the door for Who Took the Money to make amends. With the rails 34 feet out and longshots Play Mo and Charlie G in chase mode, Maga Man dictated early terms through tough to gauge fractions of :25.09 and :52.90. Meanwhile, 2-5 favorite Who Took the Money bided his time in sixth while in the clear. The race began to fall apart on the turn for home, and Who Took the Money displayed his patented late kick. Eventual second and third place finishers Smarty Alex and Ballinonabudjet also ran on well late, but the favorite prevailed by 2 ½ lengths in 1:50.59 for 1 1/16 miles.
“He has a really big turn of foot on the turf,” Parker said. “He has it on the dirt too, but on the turf, it just feels totally different. I let him do his own thing. He tells me what to do. Turning for home he’ll kick it in gear himself. I really don’t have to do anything. I just let him do his thing and stay out of his way.”
“I think we had overstayed our welcome on the dirt a little bit,” Calhoun said. “He ran well, very consistent, but I think he had enough of it after the last time out (third in the LA Classic). I was happy to get back on the grass. It’s his much-preferred surface. We are going to try to keep him on the grass in the Louisiana program for as long as we can. After that, we may have gone to the open horses a little bit at some point. He’s kind of his own worst enemy. Like Deshawn (jockey Parker) said, he kind of does things his own way. If he gets a little bit better mentally, he might be a really good older horse.”
Who Took the Money returned $2.80 for the win. His record now stands at 15-10-0-3 with $469,177 in the bank.