B. Wayne Hughes’ homebred Malibu Pier became the milestone 50th career stakes winner for Malibu Moon, with her tenacious victory in the $150,000 Santa Ana S. (G2) on March 19.
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The 4-year-old who was bred, foaled, and raised at Spendthrift, was challenged nearly step of the way in the 1 1/8-mile event over the Santa Anita turf course. Malibu Pier broke like a shot and battled through fast early fractions under Rafael Bejarano, before being given a breather on the turn. She then launched her winning bid entering the stretch, took the lead with a furlong to go, and held tough after a three-way stretch duel for a daylight victory over Grade 1 mare Turning Top (Ire).
Malibu Pier is the first stakes winner out of Graded stakes winner Blue Moon (Fr), by Lomitas (GB). Trained by Carla Gaines, she won three of her five starts in 2010, then ran second in the Grade 1 La Brea S. in her first start on conventional dirt. In her last racetrack appearance, Malibu Pier ran third in the Feb. 21 Buena Vista H. (G2) over a mile. She has now compiled a record of 8-4-1-1, and earnings of $252,200.
Also on March 18, Malibu Moon’s 3-year-old daughter Dream became a Graded stakes performer, with her third-place finish in the $100,000 Cicada S. (G3) at Aqueduct. A homebred racing for Dark Hollow Farm and partners, Dream was making her stakes debut in the Cicada, after winning her first two career starts. She becomes the 87th career stakes horse, sixth of 2011, for Malibu Moon.