Malibu Pier's win in he $150,000 Santa Barbara H. (G2) April 16 at Santa Anita [watch video
] was a trifecta of sorts for B. Wayne Hughes and Spendthrift Farm. The 4-year-old filly is owned and bred by Spendthrift and is by the farm's stallion Malibu Moon, who is in the top 5 on the 2011 North American general sire list.
Malibu Pier became the latest stakes winner of the year for her sire with a well-earned half-length victory in the Santa Barbara. Tracking in third for most of the mile and a quarter on the grass, jockey Brice Blanc moved her to the lead three wide about a furlong from the finish. She dug in earnestly from that point, finishing in an excellent 2:00.22.
Trained by Carla Gaines, Malibu Pier didn't make her first start until July 15, when she broke her maiden at Hollywood Park. Progressing quickly up the class ladder, she now has two graded stakes wins on her resume; she won the Santa Ana H. (G2) March 19. Her overall record stands at 5-1-1, earning $342,200.
“We were fairly confident she could get the distance,” said Gaines. “She ran so well at a mile and an eighth (winning the Santa Ana March 19). She’s done everything we’ve asked of her, so we were pretty confident. Brice (Blanc) did a great, great job with her today. That was awesome. We just told him that she’s got the natural speed to take the lead going a mile and a quarter, but if someone else took it, she’d relax, but just to remember and hold off. She’s got a great turn of foot, so he waited and used that at the end and it was a great result.”
A chestnut filly, Malibu Pier is out of the French mare Blue Moon, who was also owned by Hughes and won the Grade 2 Buena Vista H. and finished second in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (G1), both on the turf.