Al Shahania Stud's Manager Dean Lavy is a man with a plan and he had just that when he purchased Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million contender Money Multiplier on behalf of Qatari ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Formerly owned by Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, the 6-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky was bought by Lavy only two days before he made his seasonal bow in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on February 10. In this outing he finished seventh beaten three lengths by Heart to Heart. He then traveled Qatar to compete in the Group 1 H. H. the Emir Trophy at Doha which was run exactly two weeks later, where he was third beaten 1¼ lengths under Frankie Dettori. Since his run at Doha, he found the winner's circle in the Grade II Monmouth Stakes on May 26 – a race he won last year – and finished a close second to stable mate Funtastic in the Grade I United Nations Handicap on June 30.
“He is obviously a very good older horse,” said Lavy. “He was very competitive and he had run in Grade I's and Grade II's for the last couple years. Initially he was bought with the idea of bringing him to Doha, which we did, but we wanted to leave him in the States where he's more comfortable. He's very consistent, but this year he seems to be better than he's ever been.”
Lavy has not stopped making travel plans for Money Multiplier however. He has another trip to Qatar in mind for the five-time winner, with two probable starts between the Arlington Million his journey back east. Part of that travel plan will focus on an earlier arrival in his owner's homeland to the benefit of the horse.
“The plan will be to bring him back to Doha again after this season, but it depends on how he does this race,” Lavy said. “It's six months out so we'll obviously see how he does this year. This time, we'd like to get him in a little earlier rather than fly him in and flying him right back.”
Although Money Multiplier is still shooting for his first Grade I victory, he has made ten starts against such caliber in the United States, five of which resulted in runner-up finishes.
“We're excited that he is in the Million,” Lavy said. “We had him entered in the (Grade II) Bowling Green but the ground was very wet and we had an outside draw. This (the Arlington Million) sets up well for him. It's competitive but we expect him to do well. I think he'll be close.”
Lavy indicated he had the Grade I $4,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in mind for one of his possible two starts post-Chicago. A win in the Million would earn him an automatic spot in the starting gate of the Nov. 3 event.
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez has the call on Saturday. The duo are drawn in gate eight.
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