Leavem in Malibu turned away several challenges in Sunday's 1 3/4-mile marathon Valedictory S. (G3) at Woodbine to earn his first graded stakes win.
The 4-year-old Malibu Moon colt took the lead early on and was headed by Ethical Funds on the last of three turns, but quickly regained the lead, then shunned the late run of post-time favorite Melmich to win by 2 1/2-lengths in the final 2017 stakes of the Woodbine meet.
Leavem in Malibu, owned by Gary Barber and Conrad Farms, upped his mark to 4-2-4 in 12 starts and has earned $326,412.
“I studied the racing form all last night. All the time I saw this horse is a galloper,” said rider Patrick Husbands. “I went over the form about 300 times. I said, you know what, I’m going to let this horse run away and see what these guys are going to do in the first mile. And they left me the first mile and he was just playing with them.”
The winner is Malibu Moon's eighth graded stakes winner of 2017 and pushed his sire's progeny earnings to nearly $11 million.