Funny Moon is starting to make a habit of winning big races at Belmont Park. Last year, she scored in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon added the $150,000 Shuvee H. (G2) to her resume with a 2 3/4-length victory on May 15.
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The one-mile race for older fillies and mares featured Seattle Smooth, the 3-5 favorite who won the 2009 running of the Shuvee. But it was Funny Moon who wound up the star with another top effort at “Big Sandy”. Sitting a length or so behind front-runner Solo Piano during the long run down the backstretch, Funny Moon was well in hand for rider Alan Garcia. When her rider asked for run nearing the quarter pole, she responded willing to take the top spot. Seattle Smooth gave chase, but to no avail as Funny Moon won going away, stopping the clock 1:36.70 over the fast track.
Trainer Christophe Clement talked afterward about his instructions to Garcia. "I told him, 'Wherever you are comfortable on the bridle, you'll be fine, whether that's on the lead or behind,' " said Clement. "Hopefully, I can (go in the) Phipps next time," referring to the Grade 1 race on June 12.
Funny Moon is now four for five at Belmont. She earned $90,000 for the Shuvee win, and now has a lifetime total of $379,900, with a record of 5-2-0 in nine starts, for owner Wick McNeely.
Malibu Moon has sired 64 winners thus far in 2010, good for 3rd place on the North American general sire list. His runners have earned $2.45 million, which ranks sixth on the same list.