Sweet August Moon took advantage of an opening along the rail, and gave sire Malibu Moon his second Graded victory of July 17th, winning the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap (G2) at Hollywood Park. Sweet August Moon joined her crop-mate Life At Ten, who won the Delaware H. (G2) earlier in the day.
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The second longest shot in the field, Sweet August Moon became the fifth Graded winner, eighth stakes winner overall this year for Malibu Moon. The 5-year-old mare previously won the Grade 3 Las Flores H. at Santa Anita in April, 2009.
Out of the Royal Academy mare Silent Academy, Sweet August Moon is owned by Pete Parella’s Legacy Ranch and Shirley MacPherson, and trained by Brian Koriner. Sweet August Moon ran the seven furlongs in 1:21.77, coming home 1 3/4-lengths ahead of 4-5 favorite Free Flying Soul.
The victory was the sixth in 16 starts for the Pennsylvania-bred, who has now earned $336,396. She paid $28.20, $6.60 and $4.80.
This was the first time Victor Espinoza was aboard Sweet August Moon and the win continued a run of A Gleam success for the jockey. Espinoza has won the race four times in the last eight years, wih his other victories coming aboard Cee’s Elegance (2003) and Somethingaboutlaura (2006-2007).
“We just got her to calm down a little bit,” said Koriner, explaining Sweet August Moon’s improved performance. “We ran her in a tongue tie today and we’d never run her in one before. There were a few little things that made the difference.”
Malibu Moon moved up to fourth place on the 2010 General Sire List, with progeny earnings of $4.86 million. He now ranks among the top five sires by stakes winners, stakes wins, Graded stakes winners, Graded stakes wins, winners, and wins.