Moon Philly became Malibu Moon's second stakes winner of the day as she drew away to win the $125,000 Nellie Morse S. Jan. 26 at Laurel Park. Her top 3-year-old filly Kauai Katie took the Grade 2 Forward Gal S. at Gulfstream Park.
Living up to her role as 4-5 favorite, tracked the leader in a close-up fourth for the first six furlongs, then shifted away from the fence under Jeremy Rose, ultimately pulling clear to win by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:44.67 for the 1-1/16 miles.
“It is one of the few races that placed out just like I hoped,” Rose said. “It seemed like horses weren’t winning from the lead today and ones that were behind the second or third flight weren’t closing either, so coming from the rail I got her to relax and into proper position hoping the six (Touch The Birds) would open up a length on the field so I could get to where I wanted.”
Moon Philly has been a model of consistency last year with ten first- or second-place finishes in 13 career starts. She has earned $223,195 for her owner Country Life Farm.
“She’s getting better each start,” added Rose, who has ridden the 4-year-old in five of her last six starts. “I like how many gears she has. It is hard to win the big races with true speed. There is always somebody to push you. True closers can’t always get there, so to win the big races you need to have tactical speed and multiple gears. She has those multiple gears and is very easy to ride.”
The Nellie Morse was Moon Philly's first stakes win, though she had placed in three black-type races over the past six months.