Samantha Siegel's homebred By The Moon did it again at Belmont Park on Friday, staying strong down the lane to win the G3 Bed o'Roses Invitational by three-quarters of a length over Mia Torri. Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, the 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie was just off the pacesetter through slow early fractions, then took over in the stretch and refused to give an inch in the final eighth of a mile. By The Moon covered seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:23.46 for trainer Michelle Nevin.
“She showed up again as usual,” Nevin said. “She always tries and it was another great effort. A ride by Rajiv and it was all good. She looked so comfortable and he had her in a perfect spot. When he asked her to pick up her gears she was right there for her.”
Mia Torri was very sharp out of the starting gate, but Maragh kept a close watch on her from his advantageous outside post position aboard By the Moon. Wheatfield was also close up on the inside, and Lightstream found a comfortable spot on the outside to wait out the first several furlongs. Mia Torri absolutely walked through fractions of 23.58 and 47.37 seconds, very slow for a seven-furlong sprint, but Maragh was undeterred, never changing his plan to wait just off the pacesetter.
By The Moon drew even with Mia Torri nearing the top of the lane, and took command in the straight by nearly a length. Mia Torri was impressive to battle back along the inside, and Lightstream was applying pressure from the outside after going three-wide around the turn, but it was all By The Moon gritting out the win to cross the wire a determined three-quarters of a length in front. Mia Torri held second over Lightstream, and Flora Dora was fourth.
“On paper it looked like there wasn't much speed other than Mia Torri, so I was hoping for a good break,” said Maragh. “I had a great post on the outside to kind of see how the race was unfolding. She broke really well from the gate and she always was running strong into the bridle. I was pretty confident the way she was running that she was going to finish up good. Once we got to the lane I gave her a little [cue] and she did the rest from there.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, By The Moon now has two wins from three starts in 2017 and appears to just be getting better with age. One of the top female sprinters on the east coast, the mare ran fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Overall By The Moon owns six wins and six seconds from 17 starts, with earnings of more than $1.2 million.
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