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Moonlight d’Oro Superb in Las Virgenes
Credit: Ernie Belmonte

Moonlight d’Oro Superb in Las Virgenes

ARCADIA, CA – and Spendthrift Farm’s Moonlight d’Oro circled her rivals in the far turn and ran off to a superb victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

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Though the even-money favorite on the morning line, Moonlight d’Oro’s odds slid up late to 6/5, second-best as the field of five 3-year-old fillies broke from the gate.

After exiting post 3, Moonlight d’Oro and jockey Flavien Prat settled at the rear while within striking range as the even-money favorite Kalypso set opening fractions of :23.25, :47.47, and 1:12.72.

The field bunched up heading into the far turn and Prat tipped Moonlight d’Oro out to run four-wide toward the front, which she managed with relative ease while cornering.

Taking over by the top of the stretch, the Richard Mandella trainee strode home 1 1/2 lengths clearof Kalypso, completing the fast dirt mile route in 1:38.01.

Credit: Ernie Belmonte

“I was trying to see if I should stay inside or go around, and I decided to go around,” Prat said regarding his tactics in the far turn. “She was there for me when I asked her to go. (Kalypso) was at the front and nobody was really bothering (her), 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.”

Kalypso stayed on for second by 1 3/4 lengths over Moraz.

Brilliant Cut and an eased Honor America completed the order of finish.

The Las Virgenes is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Moonlight d’Oro earned 10 points for the win, with Kalypso receiving 4 for second, Moraz 2 for third, and Brilliant Cut 1 for fourth.

Moonlight d’Oro’s win was her second straight following a maiden-breaking effort routing at Los Alamitos on December 13. The Medaglia d’Oro filly’s record now stands at 4-2-1-1 with $163,040 earned.

“She’s a filly that we’ve always been high on since the beginning,” said Joe Moran of MyRacehorse. “She’s had some rough trips her first 2 go-arounds at Del Mar. Once she got the two-turn distance, she just picked up the pieces. Trainer Richard Mandella has just done a phenomenal job with her and it showed today.”

Moonlight d’Oro returned $4.60 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Kalypso brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Moraz paid $2.10 to show.

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