HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – In only his second career start, Rigney Racing’s Madison’s Luna looked the part of a horse on the rise, impressively taking Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
After breaking from post 3 under Julien Leparoux, Madison’s Luna broke inward and brushed Belle Tapisserie before settling in mid-pack while Belle Tapisserie led through the initial 1/4-mile in :22.42. Making a three-wide move through the far turn alongside Belle Tapisserie and Tricks to Doo, Madison’s Luna emerged onto the top of the stretch with a full head of steam while sporting 2 1/2-length lead. The Philip Bauer trainee kicked away impressively while never being asked for his best, hitting the wire by 5 lengths in a final time of 1:10.45 for the 6-furlong main track event.
“We had a good trip,” Leparoux said. “We were sitting third, and I got him outside before the first turn. He just took me there, traveling very nicely, and he had a very nice kick at the end.”
Soutache rated early before following Madison’s Luna through the far turn, and though he couldn’t keep pace with the winner, he was good enough to take second by 2 1/4 lengths over Tricks to Doo. Belle Tapisserie faded to fourth, with the favored Impact Player and the longshot My Chinumado completing the order of finish.
Madison’s Luna was following up his winning debut at Tampa Bay Downs on February 10. The son of Tapit, gray/roan like his daddy, now has career earnings of $73,180 for owners that purchased him for $400,000 as a yearling.
“I was impressed, especially for just his second start,” Leparoux said. “He showed a lot of ability. I watched his race at Tampa and I thought he was pretty impressive there, too. He’s a nice horse, for sure.”
Bauer indicated that he would target the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
“I think he’ll stretch out,” Bauer said. “We saw how he can relax behind horses. He does everything the right way, especially for a Tapit – sometimes they can be temperamental.”
Madison’s Luna returned $11 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. Soutache brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, while Tricks to Doo paid $2.80 to show.