Malibu Moon’s Moonlit Promise made it back-to-back victories in the $175,000 Bessarbian Stakes (G2) at Woodbine on Sunday, successfully defending her crown in the seven-furlong event.
Ridden by Eurico Da Silva, Moonlit Promise settled in mid-pack early. She ranged up five-wide on the far turn, collared Silent Sonet and a back-peddling Kasuga in the lane and drew clear from her 12 rivals for a 1 ¼-length score in 1:22.28 as the race favorite.
“In my heart, she was the best horse and I was not even concerned to go a little bit outside,” said Da Silva. “I wanted to make sure she had a very clean trip. She’s so nice and she runs so hard.”
It was the second stakes win of the year for the 5-year-old bay mare who also captured the Sweet Briar Too Stakes, also for the second time, in September and was third in the Ontario Fashion S. (G3) in her previous outing. Last season at four, Moonlit Promise annexed all three of those stakes in succession.
Bred in Kentucky by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Moonlit Promise is campaigned by her breeder in partnership with Windsor Boys Racing. All told, she now boasts career earnings of $507,462 and the 8-time winner is trained by Josie Carroll.
“Of her last five starts, she had the one-hole four times,” said Carroll. “She’s a filly that doesn’t really want to run inside, so it was a really tough year for her. To see her get a decent draw where she could show what she could really do was pretty exciting.”
Moonlit Promise is produced from the Smart Strike mare Smart Surprise, winner of the 2008 Bessarbian.