SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Jay Em Ess Stable’s By the Moon took the lead and never looked back, winning Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
The Ballerina was a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race, giving By the Moon an all-fees-waived entry into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 4 at Del Mar.
Breaking sharply from post 4 under Rajiv Maragh, By the Moon grabbed command and showed the way through splits of :24.05, :47.81, and 1:10.90 while her six foes fanned out behind her. Exiting off the turn in good order, Maragh urged her on as Highway Star made a bid on the outside. The pair fought side-by-side to the wire, with By the Moon emerging victorious by a head in a final time of 1:22.97 for the 7-furlong main track event.
“The race kind of looked like there wasn’t a true clear-cut speed horse,” Maragh said. “My filly has been better off stalking a horse in the past, but we thought that if we were going to get an easy lead we shouldn’t give that up. No one really wanted to get in the lead so we tried to take advantage of that. It was a very moderate pace for this kind of race at this distance so I was really happy with it.”
Carina Mia was able to get up late for third in her second start since relocating to the Chad Brown barn. Birdatthewire, Paulassilverlining, Curlin‘s Approval, and Distinta completed the order of finish.
“It looked like there wasn’t a ton of speed in here,” said winning trainer Michelle Nevin. “Rajiv had talked about it yesterday and this morning that he wanted to be prepared right out of the gate to see what kind of scenario was going to unfold. Oh my God, did he give her a great ride. This was a wide-open race with some very good fillies, and I think just tactics and an excellent ride won the race. Awesome job.”
The win was worth $300,000 and increased By the Moon’s career earnings to $1,577,940. The 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie improved her record to 19-7-6-2.
By the Moon returned $13 to win, $6 to place, and $4.20 to show. Highway Star brought back $6 to place and $4.30 to show, while Carina Mia paid $3.80 to show.