The Jersey Shore is known for bringing out the wild side in some. For Money Multiplier, a venture to the area brought out his winning side again.
Winless since his triumph in last year's edition of the Monmouth Stakes (G2T), the Lookin At Lucky ridgling returned to the site of his best outing and recaptured that form when he emerged from a four-horse battle in late stretch to best multiple grade 1 winner Divisidero by three-quarters of a length in the $200,000 turf test at Monmouth Park.
When Money Multiplier captured the 2017 renewal of the Monmouth Stakes, it ended a bout of frustration for his connections, who had watched the dark bay horse go 0-for-9 in his previous graded stakes tries. The hard-luck streak continued since that victory, as Money Multiplier dropped his last five starts heading into Saturday—including a gut-wrenching half-length loss to Sadler's Joy in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course in August.
After starting his season with a seventh-place run in the Feb. 10 Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (G1T), owner Al Shahania Stud sent the Chad Brown trainee to Doha for a start in the Feb. 24 H.H. The Emirs Trophy Presented by Longines (G1), where he finished a good third. With fresh legs to work with in his first start since that international trip, jockey Joe Bravo kept Money Multiplier right off of pacesetter and race favorite Frostmourne throughout the 1 1/8-mile Monmouth Stakes, tracking a length behind in second through fractions of :24.55 and :47.71 over a course rated firm.
"I liked where he was the whole time," said Luis Cabrera, assistant to Brown. "I know what kind of horse this is. I knew he was in good position. Joe Bravo had him right where he needed to be. This was a really good group for a short field. He beat some good horses. You have to be impressed."
As the compact field of five approached the final turn, Money Multiplier ranged up to put the heat on Frostmourne—getting up to that rival's neck before being joined by Divisidero, who was making a three-wide bid in his first start since October. With Divisidero on the far outside once they reached the stretch and Frostmourne trying to stay brave as Projected began running on up the rail, Money Multiplier kept digging between horses before taking over in the final strides.
"He's a beast. He's a grade 1 horse who deserves all the praise he gets," Bravo said. "Turning for home, he just ran away with it. Chad Brown is the greatest. He let me ride the race. He said to me, 'You might be on the lead. Don't be shocked. He's fresh. Let him run his race.' I got a little concerned when Divisidero came outside of me late. He's a nice horse. He just made my horse run, and he responded the way a good horse does."
Divisidero held off Projected by a half-length to get second in his first start for trainer Kelly Rubley—who took over conditioning the son of Kitten's Joy from Buff Bradley. Frostmourne, the 6-5 betting choice, was another half-length back in fourth with Doctor Mounty more than eight lengths behind in fifth.
Sent off at 4-1 odds, Money Multiplier bolstered his résumé to five wins from 22 career starts and pushed his bankroll to $1,203,584. Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall and Haymarket Farm, Money Multiplier is out of the Unbridled's Song mare Intensify. He was purchased by Mike Ryan for $260,000 from Bedouin Bloodstock's consignment to the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale.