Moonlight D’Oro Overtakes Kalypso In Las Virgenes

Although even-money favorite Kalypso gunned to an uncontested early lead, Richard Mandella’s Moonlight d’Oro rallied powerfully off the turn for home to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes by 1 ½ lengths at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.  Ridden by Flavien Prat, Moonlight d’Oro got a flat mile in 1:38.01.

With an avalanche of late money coming her way, Kalyspo darted to the Las Virgenes lead under Joel Rosario and maintained a one-length advantage over Honor America and Moraz as the field headed up the backside five furlongs out.

Last but only 2 ½ lengths off the leader while on the move mid-way around the far turn, Moonlight d’Oro wheeled three-wide turning for home and met little resistance from the favorite as she won going away under a hand ride.

“I was trying to see if I should stay inside or go around, and I decided to go around,” said Prat. “She was there for me when I asked her to go.  Rosario was at the front and nobody was really bothering him, but when I came around the turn, I made that great move and tried to get some momentum out of it. She was traveling nicely behind horses, and I was very happy with how she ran.”

An impressive three-length maiden winner at the same distance on Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos, Moonlight d’Oro was the second choice at 6-5 in field of five sophomore fillies and paid $4.60, $2.20 and $2.10.

“It turned out good. I was worried she got a little washy going to the gate, and she was a lamb over at Los Alamitos where she should have gotten upset,” said Mandella. “Sometimes you take them over to something like that and then the next time they’re looking for the excitement.”

Owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Moonlight d’Oro, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, out of the Bernardini mare Venetian Sonata, now has two wins from four starts and with the winner’s share of $120,000, increased her earnings to $163,040.

“How can you do any better than they have done?” Mandella said of the owners. “Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup.”

An important prep to the G2 Santa Anita Oaks on April 3, the Las Virgenes winner will receive 10 Kentucky Oaks (April 30) qualifying points, with four, two and one given to those finishing underneath.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Kalypso finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Moraz and paid $2.40 and $2.10.

Ridden by Umberto Rispoli and trained by Michael McCarthy, Moraz was off at 4-1 and paid $2.10 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.25, 47.47, 1:12.72 and 1:25.17.

The post Moonlight D’Oro Overtakes Kalypso In Las Virgenes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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