Ask the Moon responds best in G1 Ruffian H.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Malibu Moon's Ask the Moon proved she could handle a big jump in class with a front-running score in the $250,000 Ruffian H. (G1) July 31 at Saratoga. Ask the Moon becomes the second consecutive Ruffian winner, following Malibu Prayer in 2010, for Malibu Moon.

Ask the Moon also becomes her sire's seventh lifetime Grade 1 winner, more than all but one son of A.P. Indy. Fifth-leading U. S. sire of 2011, Malibu Moon now has eight stakes winners, 11 stakes wins, and well over $4,300,000 on the year.

In the Ruffian, Ask the Moon broke on top from the rail, then cut some solid fractions of :46.92 for the half mile and 1:10.83 for six furlongs. The 6-year-old mare opened up in the stretch, widening in the final furlong to win by 5 3/4-lengths. Her winning time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.46, earning her a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

“It was a pretty decent pace, but the way she did it, on the lead, she was doing it so easily,” said Castellano. “She gave me a good race and was strong.”

The win gave Ask the Moon an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1) as a “Win and You’re In” race this year in the division.

“She’s a beautiful mare, that’s why I claimed her (six weeks ago),” said winning trainer Marty Wolfson by telephone from Monmouth Park. “That, and the Malibu Moon.

“I loved that there was less speed in the race,” he continued. “I told Javier sometimes when you go to the lead, they’ll back off and leave you alone. When they backed off on us, and left us alone, that was exactly what I wanted.”

Ask the Moon earned $150,000 for the win, her ninth from 31 lifetime starts, and raised her lifetime total take to $533,640. Ask the Moon sold for $125,000 at the 2007 OBS March 2-year-old open sale.

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