Money Moves wasn’t even supposed to be here. The three-year-old has scored no points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby scoreboard. He’s never competed in a graded stakes race. His record consists of a single maiden race back in February and two allowance races, in March and July, respectively.
So what the heck is he doing at the Kentucky Derby?
Money Move’s Trainer
It’s easy to poke fun at Money Moves, or at least the circumstances under which he gained entry to the Kentucky Derby. But the snickers die out quickly when you realize that world-class trainer Todd Pletcher is running the show.
Pletcher has guided more than 50 thoroughbreds to the Kentucky Derby. Two of them–Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017–have won there. He is in this, to coin a phrase, for the long run.
Money Move’s Jockey
The naming of Javier Castellano as Money Move’s jockey is yet another sign that nobody is kidding around here. Castellano’s record places him in the same rarified air as other current kings of the track: the Ortiz brothers, Umberto Rispoli, Paco Lopez, Flavien Prat–well, you get the idea. Castellano is at the top of his game.
But while he’s ridden in the Kentucky Derby more than a dozen times, if he rides Money Moves to glory on Saturday, this would be his first win KD.
Money Move’s Recent Form
Money Moves broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park back in February. It was his first start, and he beat out ten other contenders to do it.
Shortly thereafter, he then scored another win at Gulfstream in an allowance race in March. He traveled to New York in July and placed second in an allowance race at Saratoga.
That’s it. Two wins and a second. Good enough, maybe, to entice a win bet out of a punter at most regular horse races.
Does Money Moves Stand a Chance at the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby is anything but a regular horse race. But its long distance is a challenge Money Moves has met before—both of his allowance races were in excess of a mile in length.
The scramble to quote early odds on Money Moves have him at 60-1. I think those odds are at least slightly pessimistic. Still, as far as Kentucky Derby bets go, the longer the odds, the better the pay-off.
Whether Money Moves’ story ends up just a quirky footnote to KD history, or the sensational upset story of the year remains to be seen.
I will make one prediction, though: Even if Money Moves just finishes in the money in the Kentucky Derby, Hollywood will make a least one movie about him. Count on it.