Ransom the Moon became Malibu Moon’s 12th lifetime Grade 1 winner on Saturday with a gritty, 1 ½-length win in the $300,000 Bing Crosby (G1) Saturday at Del Mar.
The six-furlong contest was full of drama even before the start. Longshot Magic Taste broke through the starting gate, but was quickly reloaded for the start. Less than 50 yards after the break, Drefong veered sharply to his left and dumped rider Mike Smith, but kept running and was soon bothering both St. Joe Bay and Roy H, who were battling for the lead.
Ransom the Moon, meanwhile, was away from the trouble a few lengths back in fourth and well off the rail. Around the turn, Ransom the Moon made his way to the inside, while on the front end Drefong floated the leaders very wide coming into the stretch.
Ransom the Moon took advantage and surged to the lead, keeping Roy H at bay to stop the timer in 1:09.63.
"On the backside I was concerned (about the loose horse)," winning rider Flavien Prat said. "I thought he was going to cause me problems, but I stayed behind him and then, on the turn, he went outside and took (Roy H) out with him. I got to go inside and it worked perfectly.
"My horse is a really nice horse and I think six furlongs is his best distance. I got lucky today. Sometimes racing is like that."
"This horse is such a big, strong, good looking Adonis of a horse, and since trying him on the dirt he has been a totally different animal," trainer Phil D'Amato added. "We'll probably prep him on the dirt at Santa Anita and then come back here (to Del Mar) for the Breeders' Cup (Sprint)."
The Bing Crosby is a Win and You’re In race for the Sprint, meaning Ransom the Moon is guaranteed a starting spot with his entry fees paid.
Ransom the Moon, who took the Kona Gold S. (G2) two starts back and a close second last out in the San Carlos S. (G2), is now 5-6-1 in 19 starts and has earned $520,829 for his owners Agave Racing Stable and Jeffry Wilke.