TORONTO, ON – Just as she did a year ago, Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings’ homebred Moonlit Promise stalked the early pace before pouncing in deep stretch to take Saturday’s $100,000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine.
Breaking inward slightly as she exited along the rail under Eurico Da Silva as the 3/2 favorite, Moonlit Promise recovered and surged toward the front as Malibu Bonnie posted an opening 1/4-mile fraction in :23.88. The pacesetter repelled Moonlit Promise for a moment and set much faster fractions, taking the 1/2-mile point in :46.88 and the 3/4-mile marker in 1:10.31. Turning for home still within range of the leader, Moonlit Promise tipped off the rail and fought forward late to take the 6 1/2-furlong all weather surface sprint by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:16.32.
Over 2 lengths behind the top pair, Victory to Victory took third by a head over Silent Sonet, with Just Be Kind a neck back in fifth. Answer My Call nosed out Sister Nation for sixth to complete the order of finish. Code Warrior was scratched.
Moonlit Promise’s win was her first since taking the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes here last November and improved her record to 16-7-3-1 while donning blinkers for the first time. The 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon has now earned $418,583 for her breeders, who co-own with Windsor Boys Racing.
“She’s had a lot of troubled trips this year and lost her focus a little,” Carroll said. “So we put a set of blinkers on her today and Eurico gave her an aggressive ride and got her back on her game. We needed to change something up a little bit and get this mare back focused because she’s a very, very talented mare who hasn’t really performed as well as we had expected this year.”
Moonlit Promise returned $5.10 to win, $2.70 to place, and $2.10 to show. Malibu Bonnie brought back $3.80 to place and $2.50 to show, while Victory to Victory paid $2.30 to show.