Ransom the Moon turned in a career-best performance in Saturday's $200,000 Kona Gold S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park, powering by the field with an explosive move at the top of the stretch to give the 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon a graded victory in his first-ever stakes start.
Racing on the turf or synthetic courses at Woodbine in 2015-16, Ransom the Moon has found a new home sprinting on the main track, and defeated a very good field in Saturday's Kona Gold. Unhurried out of the gate under Flavien Prat, Ransom the Moon kicked into gear with three furlongs to run and was in full flight as he came very wide into the stretch to roll by a quartet of foes. The final margin of victory was 2 1/4-lengths, while the final time of 1:15.12 for the 6 1/2-furlongs earned the bay horse a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 101.
"More often than not with turf horses, they'll train well on the dirt, but in the afternoon, they get lost out there," trainer Phil D'Amato said. "This horse is just getting better and better. Today, he sat behind those horses and kicked away. He won the right way, like a good horse should."
Ransom the Moon is now 4-5-1 in 17 starts and has earned $290,829 for owners Agave Racing Stable and Jeffry Wilke.
Bred in Canada by Sam-Son Farm, Ransom the Moon is Malibu Moon's 98th lifetime stakes winner and one of five this year for the Spendthrift stallion, who currently ranks 5th on this year's North American General Sire list.