In his graded stakes debut, lightly raced Multiplier is slated to take on a field of six other more experienced sophomore colts and geldings in the $250,000 Illinois Derby (G3) April 22 at Hawthorne Racecourse.
American Equistock's Multiplier raced three times at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in 2017, finishing third in his debut to fellow Illinois Derby entrant Hollywood Handsome. In Multiplier's second start, he finished second to the well-regarded Souper Tapit by a neck. The son of The Factor won his third start going the same distance as his previous two races, a mile and 70 yards.
The Brendan Walsh trainee is seeking to break through at the graded level in the 1 1/8-mile Illinois Derby, but will face runners that have previously competed at the level, including Sunland Derby (G3) third-place finisher Hedge Fund, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) sixth-place finisher It's Your Nickel, and Hollywood Handsome who finished fourth in the Twinsppires.com Louisiana Derby (G2).
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the lightly raced Hedge Fund for breeder WinStar Farm, which owns the son of Super Saver in partnership with China Horse Club. After breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park in his second start by four lengths Feb. 4, Hedge Fund was beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) contender Hence in the Sunland Derby.
Harold Lerner, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, and Magdelena Stable's It's Your Nickel recorded three consecutive wins prior to his Blue Grass loss at three different tracks and on three different surfaces.
After breaking his maiden at Saratoga Race Course last year going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, trainer Kenny McPeek started the Dialed In colt at Fair Grounds in 2017, where he won a one-mile, optional-claiming allowance by disqualification on dirt.
In his next start March 4, It's Your Nickel won the 1 1/16-mile John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park by 6 1/2 lengths on the synthetic track.
Mark and Nancy Stanley's Hollywood Handsome has been training steadily at Fair Grounds for trainer Dallas Stewart. The Tapizar colt took five starts to break his maiden Jan. 21 and finished third in an optional-claiming allowance race Feb.18 prior to his fourth-place run in the Louisiana Derby.
Rounding out the field are Stand and Cheer, who finished fourth in last year's Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3); St. Louie Guy, who finished sixth in that same race; and Mr. Misunderstood, the 3-1 morning-line favorite who comes into the Illinois Derby off three straight scores at Fair Grounds—his latest a March 25 optional-claiming allowance he won by nine lengths.
Hawthorne Race Course, Saturday, April 22, 2017, Race 5
- 1 1/8m
- 3 yo
- 6:17 PM (local)
|1||1Multiplier (KY)||James Graham||123||Brendan P. Walsh||9/2|
|2||2Hedge Fund (KY)||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||123||Todd A. Pletcher||3/1|
|3||3It's Your Nickel (KY)||Channing Hill||123||Kenneth G. McPeek||6/1|
|4||4Stand and Cheer (KY)||Christopher A. Emigh||123||Scott Becker||8/1|
|5||5St. Louie Guy (FL)||Victor Santiago||123||Scott Becker||6/1|
|6||6Mr. Misunderstood (KY)||Florent Geroux||123||Brad H. Cox||7/2|
|7||7Hollywood Handsome (KY)||Robby Albarado||123||Dallas Stewart||4/1|