Moonshine Memories is bound for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar on Nov. 4 as the unbeaten winner of two Grade 1 races, the most recent being Saturday’s $301,035 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita.
The win gave Moonshine Memories a fees-paid berth to the BC Juvenile Fillies, through the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program.
Moonshine Memories will be rated a leading contender for the BC Juvenile Fillies, and perhaps the favorite, on the strength of her wins in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante at seven furlongs on Sept. 2 and the Chandelier Stakes in her first start at 1 1/16 miles. The BC Juvenile Fillies is run at 1 1/16 miles.
In the Chandelier, Moonshine Memories had an ideal trip, stalking the pace before taking the lead on the turn. She won in a slow time of 1:46.32, but was clear of pacesetter and runner-up Alluring Star in the final furlong.
Alluring Star, the 9-5 favorite in the Chandelier after an attractive maiden race win at 6 1/2 furlongs in her debut at Del Mar on Sept. 3, set a moderate pace of 23.03 seconds for the opening half-mile and 46.75 for a half-mile. Jockey Flavien Prat had Moonshine Memories as many as three lengths behind Alluring Star on the backstretch before moving closer on the turn.
“I rode her the way I rode her in the Debutante,” Prat said. “I had a good trip. I asked her to drop the bit and she did it. When I wanted to make a move, she was there.”
The final time did not overly concern Prat.
“The track is not as fast as earlier this year,” he said. “It’s a little slower.”
Moonshine Memories gave Prat his second Grade 1 race of the day. He won the $294,000 Zenyatta Stakes on Paradise Woods earlier in the afternoon.
Moonshine Memories led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go and won by 2 3/4 lengths over Alluring Star, who was ridden by Joe Talamo.
“Down the backstretch, she settled pretty nice,” Talamo said. “That was only her second race, and it was a Grade 1 against that filly.”
Asked if he thought Alluring Star belonged in the BC Juvenile Fillies, Talamo had a quick answer.
“Absolutely,” he said.
Piedi Bianchi, who was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in her stakes debut, finished third in the Chandelier, three lengths behind Moonshine Memories.
The first three were well clear of the rest of the field. Dancing Belle was fourth, beaten 12 1/4 lengths, and was followed by Just a Smidge, Terra’s Angel, Super Good and Holy Diver.
Terra’s Angel, the winner of the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf on Sept. 4, sustained a cut on her leg early in the race, according to jockey Sasha Risenhoover.
Moonshine Memories, a filly by Malibu Moon, won her debut in a maiden race at six furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 19. Trained by Simon Callaghan, Moonshine Memories races for Bridlewood Farms and the Coolmore team of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier.
Moonshine Memories was purchased for $650,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale and has earned $397,000 in her brief career.