Bridlewood, Magnier, Tabor and Smith’s Moonshine Memories rose to the top of the Southern California juvenile fillies division with her impressive wire-to-wire score by a half-length in the $300,690 Del Mar Debutante (GI) on the closing Saturday of the seaside oval’s signature summer meet. The daughter of Malibu Moon is trained by Simon Callaghan and was ridden to victory by Flavien Prat, who surged to be leading rider with four wins on the day and only two racing days left.
At odds of nearly 6-1, Moonshine Memories was worth $13.40, $6.40, $4.20, keying a generous $74 exacta when near 19-1 chance Piedi Bianchi finished second and returned $14.20 and $6. Sorrento Stakes (GII) winner Spectator was another 5 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $3, closing off a generous $133.85 trifecta for $.50.
Dancing Belle, the 9-5 favored Just A Smidge, Poetic and Gabrielleelizabeth completed the order of finish.
After breaking alertly from post position two, Prat sent Moonshine Memories right from the lead where she set all the pace through quick splits of :21.97, :44.85 and 1:09.90 with a clear advantage on the field behind her. Though briefly challenged by the runner-up in deep stretch, the bay filly finished strongly and held on to the win, stopping the clock for the seven furlongs in 1:23.61 over a fast main track.
“No special instructions for me today,” Prat said. “[Callaghan] said, ‘She’s got speed, get her away from there and find a spot.’ She was cruising out there today, just cruising. She’s a nice filly and I think she’ll definitely run on.”
Moonshine Memories was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm and was purchased by her current owners for $650,000 as a Fasig-Tipton August Saratoga select yearling a year ago. The daughter of the Unbridled’s Song mare Unenchantedevening, who is a half-sister to 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, is now undefeated in two career starts, having broken her maiden two weeks ago, and has earned $216,000.
“We were actually looking for any small excuse not to run her back (in two weeks),” Callaghan said. “There was no pressure from the owners. This filly just did everything you’d want from a horse in between. She showed in the paddock – her disposition and how calm she was – is something you can’t instill in them, it’s within them.
“I liked the way she was traveling within herself [in the race], but then you look at the fractions and you get a little worried. She just kept running potential rivals off and she was all heart at the end.