Ransom the Moon returned to his winning way on Saturday with a tremendous run in the stretch to take the $300,000 Bing Crosby S. (G1) at Del Mar. The 6-year-old son of Malibu Moon also won the 2017 running of this race, his first Grade 1 win.
Saturday's win also assured the bay horse of a starting spot in this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) in November at Churchill Downs.
Facing the likes of champion Roy H and American Anthem on Saturday, Ransom the Moon was well off the pace through the first half-mile, which went in :44.78. Ransom the Moon had some ten lengths to make up with a quarter-mile to run, but jockey Flavien Prat took his mount very wide to avoid trouble and flew past the field to win going away by 2 1/4-lengths in 1:10.08 on a fast track.
"This horse beat this field on the square,” winning trainer Phil D'Amato said. “(Runner-up) Roy H is a great horse, hats off to him. But my horse, since I gave him a freshening awhile back, he has kind of become the horse of old.”
Ransom the Moon, who also won the 2017 Kona Gold S. (G2), got a freshening over the winter, with Saturday's race his third start after the layoff. His record now stands at 6-7-1 in 24 starts, with earnings of $848,829 for owners Agave Racing Stable and Jeffry Wilke.
The winner is Malibu Moon's second Grade 1 winner of the year, joining Arkansas Derby (G1) champ Magnum Moon. The Spendthrift stallion is once again a top-10 sire this year, with nearly $6 million in progeny earnings to date.
Pedigree notes from the TDN:
Ransom the Moon;s graded stakes-placed dam--Count to Three--was Woodbine-based for Sam-Son and made 20 of her 22 career starts in sprints. Second dam Countus In annexed the 1990 GI Matriarch S., and was acquired by Sam-Son for $200,000 in foal to Red Ransom at Keeneland November six years later. That resulting foal became GIII Toronto Cup H. winner Think Red.