DEL MAR, CA – Trainer Simon Callaghan’s well-regarded Harvest Moon overtook a game Secret Keeper in the stretch to win Saturday’s $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes (G3) at Del Mar.
Sent from post 3 as the 3/2 favorite under Flavien Prat, Harvest Moon sat off the early pace and raced two-wide in fourth heading into the clubhouse turn. Secret Keeper went straight to the lead but quickly came under pressure from Provocation.
The two fillies dueled back and forth through opening fractions of :22.13 and :45.93 before Harvest Moon ranged up three-wide to join the fray.
Provocation dropped anchor as Harvest Moon swept past her in the far turn, creating a match race at the top of the stretch.
Harvest Moon took the lead at the 1 1/16 pole and kicked away in the shadow of the wire to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Her final time for the 1-mile fast dirt route was 1:36.87.
“It was perfect,” Prat said. “She was nice and relaxed and I knew they were running very fast up front. She’s got speed if you want it, though. Last time, I hardly asked her to run. Today, she was just waiting on me. She won it very nicely.”
Though unable to fend off the bettors’ choice after her tough early fight, Secret Keeper was 5 1/4 lengths well-clear of Paige Anne.
Completing the order of finish came Aurelia Garland, Provocation, and Sheza Girly Girl.
Merneith was scratched.
Harvest Moon’s win was her third straight after Callaghan aggressively debuted her against winners in a mid-June turf mile at Santa Anita Park (she finished third). The 3-year-old Uncle Mo filly, out of the graded stakes-winning mare Qaraaba, has now earned $120,720 for co-owners Alice Bamford (who bred her) and Michael Tabor of Coolmore.
“We were delighted,” Callaghan said. “This filly means a lot because I trained the mother, which gives it a little extra sentiment. She’s an exciting, big filly that we’ve been super patient with and it’s great that she’s coming in to doing what she’s doing.”
Harvest Moon returned $5 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. Secret Keeper brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show, while Paige Anne paid $4.20 to show.