Strike the Moon took the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks by three-quarters of a length on Sept. 17 to win the richest sprint race in the country for 3-year-old fillies (VIDEO
). The daughter of Malibu Moon is the ninth stakes winner of the year for her sire, who is in the top 5 on the general sire list with $5.4 million in progeny earnings.
Strike the Moon, who was second in the $300,000, 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks (G2) in July, turned back to seven furlongs at Charles Town. Adding blinkers for the first time in her career, she was a close-up third for a half mile, then went three wide to take over the top spot two furlongs from the finish. After opening up by three lengths in the stretch, jockey Julian Pimentel kept her to the task to finish in 1:24.97 and earn a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 94.
"I had the perfect position," Pimentel said. "When I asked her to run around the (final) turn, she gave me everything she had. It's a really great feeling."
"It was a great time to give them (the blinkers) a try," winnng trainer Michael Trombetta said. "We needed to make sure we got a little speed put back in her."
Strike the Moon is Malibu Moon's leading earner of 2011. She has bankrolled all but $34,000 of her lifetime total of $400,670 this year. Bred in Kentucky by her owner R. Larry Johnson, the bay filly is 3-4-0 in eight starts.