Spendthrift Farm’s homebred Moonwalk held off Kitten’s Point by a nose to win the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine S. (G3) Wednesday at Keeneland. The 2-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita with the victory.
Moonwalk was hung three-wide for nearly the entire Jessamine trip, but was never worse than second at any point either. The pacesetter Sunset Time faded slightly in the final furlong with several others surging towards the lead. Moonwalk dug in gamely to carry the orange and purple colors across the finish line and into the winners' circle. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course was 1:45.17.
Moonwalk (orange cap) prevails in G3 Jessamine S.
“My horse broke really sharp. Kinda surprised me,” said Corey Lanerie. “Last time I rode her I was a little off the pace. Today she came out there running. She was going real easy so I tried to take nothing away from her and just ride her where she was comfortable. Actually they got by her and she dug in. She refused to lose.”
Winning trainer Dale Romans was looking forward to the Breeders' Cup. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t go. I’ll talk to (Spendthrift Farm owner) Mr. (B. Wayne) Hughes and (farm general manager) Ned (Toffey) about it, but I don’t know why we wouldn’t. You have a free roll.”
Moonwalk increased her bankroll to $122,150 with the $90,000 winner’s check and improved her record to 4-2-1-1.
Moonwalk is out of the stakes-placed mare Lucinda K. She is the dam of China Doll S. winner Thatswhatimean, who was also second in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup H.
Malibu Moon has surpassed the $6.3 million progeny earnings mark, ranking him eighth on the 2012 General Sire List.