ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Simon Callaghan’s Moonshine Memories kept her young record perfect in three career starts, stalking and pouncing her way to victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Chandelier is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Moonshine Memories receiving an automatic berth in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4.
Breaking cleanly from post 3 under Flavien Prat, Moonshine Memories tucked in and stalked just off the rail behind Alluring Star through early fractions of :23.03, :46.75, and 1:12.06. Through the far turn, Moonshine Memories decided that she was done stalking and pounced just as Alluring Star began to show signs of slowing down, kicking clear off the turn and down the stretch to hit the wire first by 2 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:46.32 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.
“I had a great trip,” Prat said. “She’s learned to relax, so that’s great. She broke well, she sat off the pace, dropped the bit, and relaxed well today. When I made my move, she was all there. Simon told me to break and just wait and see what the other speed was going to do, but I kind of rode her the same as I did in the Debutante.”
Alluring Star managed to hold onto second by a neck at the finish line over Piedi Bianchi. The remainder of the field was well-strung out behind the top three, with Dancing Belle, Just a Smidge, Terra’s Angel, Super Good, and Holy Diver completing the order of finish.
“I just like the way she sat off horses and relaxed really well,” Callaghan said. “That’s the key to getting these longer distances. We know she’s got speed, and she’s proven it in these two other races, but today she showed she relaxes, and that makes everyone’s job easier.”
A $650,000 purchase as a yearling by a group comprised of Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael B. Tabor, Moonshine Memories has done her best to repay her hefty price tag: the Chandelier’s $180,000 winner’s share nearly doubled her career earnings to $396,000.
“You’ve got to give Simon all of the credit,” said Scott Calder, representative for the ownership group. “She ran back quickly after her maiden win and won. He was thinking about training her up to the Breeders’ Cup, but she was doing great, so he decided to come here, and she ran just the way we’d hoped she would. She was getting tired there at the end, but she deserved to be tired. They set some fast fractions and it was nice to see her just sit off the pace a little bit. She gives her all every time, so you can’t ask for more than that.”
Moonshine Memories returned $6 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show. Alluring Star brought back $3 to place and $2.40 to show, while Piedi Bianchi paid $2.60 to show.